Died July 11, 2013
Emergency Medical Technician Derek W. Brewster died July 11, 2013 while driving himself to get emergency treatment on an injury he had received during a call near Amarillo, Texas.
Derek was born in Amarillo, Texas, and graduated from Amarillo High School. He married Leslie George on August 24, 2002, and together they had a son, Dylan. Derek had worked as a paramedic for Emergency Services Foundation of Texas, a nonprofit corporation organized in 2007, but was currently a paramedic at the Boys Ranch through Pampa’s EMS and the Emergency Services Foundation of Texas. Derek was driving to Amarillo from the Boys Ranch to get treatment on his arm that had been cut earlier that day when the fatal accident occurred.
“There are times when this world can be pretty cruel and take the good ones. If you can be better than great, that’s what Derek was,” said longtime co-worker, Jason Varnon. Derek, a paramedic in a high-stress field all his adult life, is remembered as a committed and decisive professional, and as a soft-spoken friend who would leave home in the middle of the night to fix a flat if asked. “You have to be caring in this profession and that’s what made him so special,” Varnon said. “He was so smart and knowledgeable about what to do to keep a patient alive. He was somebody I leaned on for advice all the time. He was the best at it, and never in an arrogant way.” A group of about six paramedics would go to Lake Texoma every year to fish for bass and stripers. Derek was usually the cook, which fit his nature as the one always eager to lend a hand. Friendships and reaching out to others defined him in a profession that Varnon called ‘a band of brothers.’ Longtime friend and co-worker, Wade Bell, stated, “You could trust your life, family and faith in him. He never forgot your birthday. He always cultivated a friendship in all of us. He was an absolute role model as a father, husband, and friend, and one of the best paramedics I’ve ever been around.” There’s a sense among co-workers and friends that Derek gave more of himself to others and to his profession than they did in return.
EMT Derek Brewster was 37 years old from Amarillo, Texas
Original portrait was presented to his family September 9, 2013 during a special event in Amarillo, Texas