Mike Shankle

Mike Shankle, former head of Henry County Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services, died Monday at Henry County Medical Center. He was 63.

Shankle was director of EMS from 1990 until 2013, when he retired after several bouts with health issues.

A graduate of Henry County High School, Shankle began working as an emergency medical technician in 1986. He then attended Jackson State Community College, receiving his certification as a paramedic in 1990.

Later that year, he succeeded Terry Farris as EMS director, taking over the job on Dec. 21.

“Mike was a pioneer in EMS for the state of Tennessee and especially Henry County,” Twila Rose, current EMS director, said Tuesday afternoon. “He was a mentor and friend to a lot of EMTs and paramedics over the years. He will be sadly missed.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” said Lisa Casteel, HCMC CEO. “We will miss Mike.”

Shankle received several state and local accolades during his career.

He was presented the Presidents Leadership Award twice from the Tennessee Ambulance Service Association —once in 2005 and a second time in 2008.

He also received TASA’s Ambulance Director of the Year Award in 2005.

That same year, he was awarded HCMC’s Kathy Townsend Leadership Award for his work modeling the county’s first responder program, and increase the number of automatic defibrillators in use in the area.

In March 2014, he was presented with the Loyal Patriot Award by the Henry County Commission.

A year later, he was honored with a proclamation by the Henry County 911 Board, which he served on for 22 years prior to his retirement, including several years as vice chairman.

“Nine-one-one in this county wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for Mike,” Mark Archer, 911 director, said during the presentation. “We’re considered one of the best 911 centers in the whole state, and it’s due a lot to the work that Mike did.”

Shankle is survived by his wife, Diane Shankle.

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