Humboldt General Hospital Says Good-Bye to Christian Echevarria

Humboldt General Hospital said good-bye to one of its Emergency Medical Technicians this week.

Christian Echevarria was laid to rest in the Paradise Valley Cemetery on Wednesday, January 15. He was 22 years old.

Christian was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Monday, January 6; he was not discovered until the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 7. He was on his way to a training at the HGH EMS Rescue ambulance station. Christian worked as a full-time EMT there.

A memorial service for Christian Echevarria was held on Wednesday, January 15, at the Paradise Valley Fire Department.

Christian was described as an old-school American, with those kind of values, who liked Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Winnemucca resident Dave Bengochea sang "Fly Me to the Moon" in his honor.

The eulogy was given by Christian's aunt, Lori Woodland, who described her nephew as a young man with enthusiasm and zeal for life. She said it was as if his soul knew he had only 22 years to pack in 75 years worth of living.

The services also included many funny stories from Christian's life, including a memory Lori Woodland had of him galloping on his horse, his head back, calling, "I'm flying. I'm flying."

She later concluded, "Though the memories may be painful, let them comfort you."

Humboldt General Hospital coordinated an honor escort for Christian from Winnemucca to Paradise Valley that included all HGH emergency vehicles as well as representatives from emergency services organization across Nevada and the country.

Additionally, helicopters from CareFlight and Summit Air led the procession to Paradise. Following the interment, the helicopters and three other medical planes conducted a flyover of the cemetery, two of them performing the missing man formation.

Perhaps the most moving part of the day, though, was when EMS Chief Pat Songer called dispatch and asked them to page "945." That was Christian's number. Dispatch did the page and reported that 945 is no longer with us. Dispatch then broadcast a sweet message thanking 945 for his service to Humboldt County and northern Nevada.

Christian's name will be added to the HGH Employee Memorial during a future ceremony. Chief Songer said the young EMT will always be remembered, not only for the professionalism that he brought to the job, but also for his kindness and friendship toward others.

"His big smile, his ability to laugh at anything, his compassionate care—both of patients and of fellow crew members—have left indelible marks on our souls, and we will never be the same," said the Chief.

HGH CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish thanked the hospital staff for all they did to honor Christian as well as his family, which includes Christian's mother, Bryn Echevarria, a 25-year veteran staff member at the facility.

"There are dozens of employees and supporters of HGH to thank for their work in preparing for such a fitting tribute to Christian," he said. "I want all of you to know how much your support means to me personally."

He added, "We have a strong team of over 250 individuals who are dedicated to each other and our community."