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CRS' Gossard dies at 49

July 12, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Ted Gossard's enduring legacy is the work that Community Rescue Service personnel do daily to provide medical care to the sick and the injured in Washington County, according to those who knew him.

For nearly 33 years, he strove to be the best and to impart his skills and knowledge to the next generation of emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Gossard, 49, lost his struggle with kidney disease Sunday night, dying at his Dartmouth Drive home.

"He was one of the cornerstones of CRS," said longtime friend and CRS co-worker, Donna Carey. Now an emergency medical services administrative specialist at Washington County Hospital, Carey worked with Gossard at CRS for many years.

"Ted was one of the first advanced life support instructors in this area," Carey said.

In that capacity, Gossard shared his talents and techniques with hundreds of up and coming EMTs over the years.

Carey also remembered Gossard's work as a member and coach of several winning CRS teams at state, national and international rescue and emergency care competitions.

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Jay Frantz, a CRS volunteer and friend, said Gossard made his mark as an instructor and as the first paid administrator at CRS.

"Ted helped build CRS into what it is today," Frantz said from his office at Wright, Gardner and Tischer Insurance.

Early on, Gossard and a few others still in their teens spent much time at the old CRS hall on East Franklin Street, running on calls day and night.

"Ted joined right after I did in the mid-1960s," said Ron Horn, president of the CRS board. "He was the first career CRS person and a true pioneer in the cardio-resuscitation technician field."

Perhaps Gossard's greatest contribution was to teach others what he knew and how to do things right, Horn said.

"There are the lives he touched personally and then it pyramids out to all the people he trained and all the lives they touched," Horn said.

In recent years, Gossard was instrumental in improving CRS services throughout the community. The new CRS headquarters on Eastern Boulevard has top-of-the-line equipment and well-trained paid and volunteer personnel.

"I always respected Ted ... he cared a lot about CRS," said Kingsley Poole, a Hagerstown Fire Department battalion chief and CRS volunteer.

Poole credited Gossard with helping to develop the rescue program at CRS. Even with his health failing in recent years, Gossard remained steadfast in his devotion to CRS, Poole said.

"He probably suffered more than anyone in 10 lifetimes but he always kept the good of the community in mind," Poole said.

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