LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — A Little Rock paramedic who served for 29 years died Friday after succumbing to injuries sustained during last week’s marathon. Those he worked with said his personality often cheered them up during times of extreme stress.
Major Dean Douglas died after he was severely injured at the Little Rock Marathon. Douglas was on duty for the MEMS bike team at the event. While responding to an emergency call, Douglas got into an accident on his bike.
“Even though he was wearing protective equipment, it was a pretty severe fall,” said Greg Thompson, the Executive Director for MEMS, where Douglas worked.
Douglas helped with major events in Arkansas history, like assisting with the arrival of thousands of Louisiana evacuees during Hurricane Katrina in 2006. He saved countless lives during his years of service.
“Dean has been a supervisor for a lot of those years, and he’s the kind of guy who knows his people,” Thompson said. “If he said he had it, he did. We didn’t have to worry about that.”
Douglas’ emergency vehicle had a “mad hatter” logo painted on the back. It represented all the facets of his rescue abilities.
“[He was] a jack of all trades,” Thompson said.
Off the clock, Douglas’ passion for comics was a big part of his personality. One MEMS hallway is adorned by a collection of rare “Emergency!” comic books.
“He sold comics, vintage toys, games and all those different kinds of things,” Thompson said. “That was just a whole different side of his life.”
“Douglas’ superpower was saving lives, and he used it well,” Thompson said. “He fielded thousands of calls and calmed others on the job.”
“He was a huge part of the encouragement we’ve needed to be able to face what we’ve faced,” Thompson said.