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Paramedic dies while on-duty in Mille Lacs County

The Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Honor Guard escorted his body to the funeral home on Thursday.

A Mille Lacs County paramedic died Wednesday, Jan. 7, while on-duty. 

Toby Rowan suddenly collapsed while at the scene of a medical call in Mille Lacs County, the sheriff's office said. He was wrapping up at the scene after the person had died when he collapsed. 

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office deputies and EMS personnel on the scene attempted life-saving measures, but Rowan did not survive, the sheriff's office said. 

According to the Mille Lacs Messenger, paramedics – including Rowan – were called to Vista Road in Isle for an unresponsive person who may have had a heart attack. The paper notes Rowan's medical event is also suspected to be a heart attack.

Rowan worked as a paramedic with the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) for the past five years, CRMC said on Facebook. He also worked as a paramedic for Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, starting there in February 2020. He was on a call with them when he died. 

“This is hard for all of us,” Emergency Medical Services Director Bob McLaughlin said, according to the post. “We are grateful that CRMC is truly a family.” 

Rowan worked "with honor and dedication o his patients and communities," CRMC said, noting his wife works as a nurse with CRMC. 

The medical center and surrounding communities are mourning his loss, the post said. 

Rowan loved hunting, fishing, boating, camping, traveling, sitting on his “blue chair” and spending time with his dogs, Grover and Ollie, and cat named Kevin, CRMC said. He is survived by his parents, his wife and his four children, who are all in their 20s.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Honor Guard and "numerous" EMS, police and fire officers from across the state escorted Rowan's body from the medical examiner's office in the Twin Cities to the funeral home in Crosby, CRMC said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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