EMS workers remember paramedic killed in head-on collision


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist ERIN COKER

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Posted on December 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 6:25 PM

AUSTIN -- A 15-year veteran of Austin-Travis County EMS was killed in a head-on collision. Randy Trinkle, 46, was on his way home to Fredericksburg after completing his shift Saturday morning.

"It's devastating," said Mike Benavides, a commander with Austin-Travis County EMS Special Operations and good friend of Trinkle's. "It's devastating from a professional standpoint. It's devastating from a personal standpoint. My heart and my prayers and the prayers of the entire team and department just go out to him and his family. We can't even imagine what they must be going through. It's tragic."

Trinkle, a captain and Austin-Travis County EMS paramedic, was killed in a head-on collision Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 290 just outside Fredericksburg where he lived. Trinkle had just completed his shift and was returning home. He was in his personal car and was still in uniform.

"We all know he was wearing his uniform on his way home because in the event something happened on his way home, he could pull over and stop and render aid," said Benavides. "His dedication to the industry and his profession and to the community to just want to help."

Benavides says everyone in the department now must cope with the loss.

"He was always your best friend and always tried to be your best friend," he said.  "It's hard. It's hard to know somebody who is that good. In the old days, as the saying goes, 'the good ones are always taken to first.' In this case, I guess they got it right."

The accident is still being investigated. The driver of the other vehicle walked away with no injuries.  No charges have been filed.

Trinkle leaves behind a wife and two children. Funeral services for Trinkle will be held on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.  He will be buried with full EMS honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Trinkle children's scholarship fund. Donations can be made online or by mail to the address below and you can designate it to the Trinkle Family:

Austin Paramedic Fund
5817 Wilcab Road
Austin, TX.78721