EMS mourns death of employee


• Man was close to getting paramedic certification before he died in wreck.



By HEATHER CIVIL Daily News Staff Writer
Larry Ivey loved his job with the Walton County EMS.

He loved it because he could help people in a way that only a select group of men and women can.

Ivey, 56, died Monday morning in a car accident near his Fort Walton Beach home. On Tuesday, friends and co-workers remained stunned by the news.

Ivey was killed when his car turned into the path of an oncoming Cox Communications van headed north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Wright, a Florida Highway Patrol report said. The van hit Ivey’s 1983 Oldsmobile on the driver’s side.

For five years, Ivey worked as an emergency medical technician in Walton County. Before the accident, he was close to becoming certified as a paramedic, said Billy May, Ivey’s immediate supervisor.

"He really enjoyed doing his work," May said. "He was really good at taking care of people."

Before he came to work for Walton County EMS, Ivey worked as a dispatcher in Okaloosa County. He also served as a volunteer firefighter years ago, May said.

For the past four or five months, Ivey commuted from Fort Walton Beach to the Paxton EMS station in Walton County.

During his time as an EMT, one of Ivey’s favorite things to do was work with kids, May said. On occasion, the EMS hosts a Fun Day where kids and families are invited to visit with paramedics and see all the equipment. The children could always count on Larry being at Fun Day to hand out balloons and goodies, May said.

"He enjoyed doing his job because he enjoyed helping them," May said. "Larry was a good employee."

Ivey didn’t have a wife or kids living with him at the time of his death, May said. But he had nephews he really loved and a pet parrot that he "always talked about."

As the news of their friend’s death sank in, EMS employees were offered counseling to help them cope with their loss.

"It reminds us that we’re not invincible," May said.