Water Rescue Attempt Claims Tennessee Paramedic

A Tennessee paramedic tossed overboard Thursday during a rescue attempt in a swollen creek has died.

Joe Snow, a paramedic with Montgomery County EMS, died at 4:02 a.m. Sunday at Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville.

On Thursday evening, Snow and another rescuer were thrown into the water at the base of a dam as they attempted to reach youths in distress, said Lt. Eric Reece.

"The boys went over the dam and were caught in the hydraulic. They were trying to get to them when the boat overturned," Reece said, adding that the water was fierce because of storms further up stream.

Both rescuers were wearing life jackets, helmets and wet suits. Snow's partner was able to free himself quickly, and went back under to pull him out. However, he had been underwater for five to eight minutes.

Snow was treated, and rushed to the hospital.

"He was like a fish. He loved the water. He was a swift water rescue technician and diving instructor."

A Montgomery County paramedic for the past eight years, Snow was passionate about his work. "His hobby -- EMS -- it was everything to him."

Grief counselors will be on hand as colleagues deal with his untimely death. Funeral arrangements for the father of two are pending.

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