Funeral Held for Alan Smith

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Meridian, Miss. Alan Smith, of Meridian, died responding to an emergency call as an EMT in Greene County, Miss.

He and Dennis Rushing died when their ambulance collided with an 18-wheeler.

Family, friends, EMS, fire, and law enforcement paid their respects Tuesday as the funeral procession passed through Meridian on the way to Smith's burial site.

The line went on for miles, and those who weren't in the procession lined the way in order to remember a fallen hero.

Metro Operations manager, Johnny Williamson, says, "EMS, fire, and law enforcement all come together when an incident likes this happens, to pay respect to them."

It is a sad reminder of the dangers facing EMS, fire and law enforcement every time they go to work.

Williamson says that even though there is a risk, it is reduced greatly when the other agencies are working well together, like here in Lauderdale County.

"All our agencies in Lauderdale County work well together," said Williamson. "Law enforcement does an excellent job in trying to get there before we do to secure the scene so we won’t have violent acts against our staff."

One inherent danger they face is simply in responding to the calls that come through daily.

"You have the dangers of responding to a call. All three agencies face that. The state law says that you pull to the right and stop, but so many times they go to the left, or they stop in front of you or just ignore you," says Williamson of other traffic on the road.

Williamson says another major problem is when people spend more time paying attention to the accident instead of what's going on around them.