Ron Gearheart is a career Paramedic/Firefighter/Chaplain with Franklin County Department of Public Safety. He is an Associate Pastor at New Vision Baptist Church. He has been married to his wife Michele for over twenty years “bless her heart”, he says. They have two daughters, Haley (27) and Leah (14), a son-in-law Alex, and three grandchildren Abryn (10), Asher (7), and Avery (1). He also has three grand dogs who are eating him out of house and home. He is originally from Roanoke, VA, but has traveled quite frequently, living in Norfolk, Charlotte, Greensboro, Savannah, and Jacksonville. He moved to Franklin County in December of 1998.
He started his EMS journey in August of 1995 when a friend of his convinced him to take an EMT class. He began volunteering in Roanoke County with Cave Spring Rescue Squad. He was a member for over 10 years. He received his Paramedic and Associates Degree in Emergency Health Sciences from the then Jefferson College of Health Sciences and later his bachelor’s degree in Crisis Counseling from Liberty University. He will graduate from Liberty University in December of 2020 with his master’s degree in Crisis Response and Trauma.
Ron came to work for FCDPS in March of 2006, back in the days of three career trucks, nine full-time field staff, and two Captains. My how things have changed. He is currently working “B “shift (B being for best!) at Station 8. He cannot express how much he enjoys working for Public Safety. He works with an awesome group of men and women and feels privileged to serve the people of Franklin County. He feels blessed for the friendships that he has made over the years and the people that he has met. Ron says, “I look back at how much the department has grown over the years and the changes that have been made and I sometimes wonder how we did it back then. I look forward to the future ahead of us and see good things happening.”
Ron says, “ I want to tell you why I love working for Public Safety. It revolves around a 13-year old young lady. When she was not even a year old, she fell, striking her head. Her mother and grandmother called 911 and we responded. Upon arriving at their house, they were visibly upset. After checking her out, My partner and I were able to reassure the mother and grandmother that she was ok. They were so very grateful, not because we worked some medical miracle, but that my partner and I were able to alleviate their anxiety. I see this young lady and her mother regularly, and I always get a hug from her. To her, I’m her hero. I don’t write this to inflate my ego, but to recognize that I was able to make a difference in a family’s life. That is why I love my job.”
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26