MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Multiple law enforcement agencies gathered outside Hennepin County Medical Center Thursday afternoon to show support for a Hennepin County EMS paramedic who died by suicide earlier this week.
Police, EMS and fire crews from the University of Minnesota, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin EMS, Minneapolis Police Department, Metro Transit, Minneapolis Fire and Minneapolis Park Police were all in attendance among other agencies.
The gesture was an effort to honor those who worked alongside Hennepin EMS Paramedic Karl Meek, who died Tuesday at the age of 44 by suicide, according to Hennepin EMS’s Facebook page. It was also a show of support for all first responders amid the pandemic.
Meek worked for Hennepin EMS for seven years and was a member of the Hennepin County Association of EMTs and Paramedics. He was known to love music and have a great sense of humor.
Hennepin EMS offered the following resources for EMS personnel who feel they need help:
Unfortunately, suicide disproportionately impacts EMS personnel more than the general population they protect. Suicide is a serious public health problem that is rarely caused by one thing, but rather the perfect storm of events that is unique to the individual. If you're feeling suicidal, talk to somebody.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. Text 'START' to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. If you don't like the phone, connect to the Lifeline Crisis Chat at crisischat.org.