Beloved Amelia EMT killed in head-on crash devoted life to helping others

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A longtime EMT in Amelia County killed in a head-on crash earlier this week is being remembered for her passion for helping people.

Troopers said 56-year-old Karen E. Giles,  of West Creek Road, died Wednesday evening after her sedan was struck by a dump truck along Genito Road.

Giles spent 30 years responding to accidents and rescuing those in need as an EMT for Amelia Emergency Squad.

"Karen was respected, valued, and, more importantly, loved by so very many people whose lives she had touched over the 30 years she served in EMS," friend Constance Moss wrote. "Her passion for EMS was displayed every single day of the week as she served as training officer for the Amelia Emergency Squad, offered an ear and a shoulder to other first-responders as a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)/Peer Support Team member, and worked with EMT students at John Tyler Community College as their Clinical Coordinator."

Karen Giles

Karen Giles

Giles' daughter, Meredith Spies, thanked the community for the outpouring of love and support her family has received.

"She devoted her career and her life to helping others on their worst days, and to teaching others how to do the same. My mother would encourage all people, especially women, to follow their dreams of joining EMS, regardless of age," Spies wrote. "We personally appreciate the help of the Amelia Emergency Squad during this time, as we only come to realize the full legacy that my mother has left."

A video tribute to Giles was posted on the Amelia Emergency Squad Facebook page.

"I had the honor and privilege to serve on the ODEMSA Board of Directors with Karen," Bryan S. McRay commented. "She was a shining example of the consummate EMS provider. She cared for her patients, fellow providers, and the community with passion and respect."

Delbert J. Garrett wrote that while Giles will be dearly missed, her legacy will live on in the providers she taught.

A memorial fund has been established to help Giles' family pay for her funeral expenses. Click here if you would like to make a contribution.  

Organizers said that any remaining funds will be divided between Amelia Emergency Squad, Bagby Memorial Baptist Church and the John Tyler Community College Foundation in Giles' memory.

Giles' funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.

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