Billie J. Grills
Carter County EMS
November 11, 1986
The following biography appears in the National EMS Memorial Book:
Billie J. Grills was a 37 year old EMT with Carter County EMS. EMT Grills served the citizens of Carter County from June 1976 until the time of his death in November, 1986. EMT Grills was a very active member in the Olive Hill community, serving in many capacities in addition to the ambulance service. He was active with the Olive Hill Fire Department, the Olive Hill little league, the El Hasa Shrine Club, the Masonic Lodge, and many other organization. It always seemed when someone needBillie J. Grills, 37, was an EMT with Carter County EMS. He served from June 1976 until the time of his death. EMT Grills was a very active member in the Olive Hill community, serving in many capacities in addition to the ambulance service. He was active with the Olive Hill Fire Department, the Olive Hill little league, the El Hasa Shrine Club, the Masonic Lodge, and many other organizations. It always seemed when someone needed help, Billie Grills would be one of the first to lend a hand.
Billie always put others ahead of his own needs. The majority of his salary probably was used to take care of his two small children. He would always be the last to complain about his situation, but one thing is for sure: he loved being an EMT for Carter County EMS.
In November of 1986, Billy was dispatched to the report of an elderly patient displaying stroke-like symptoms. On arrival EMT Grills found his patient in an upstairs bedroom and identified his patient as being in a life-threatening situation. Being unable to get their stretcher into the upstairs area, Grills, known to be a large burly man, began to carry down the elderly patient in his arms. Once he had reached the ground floor, Grills and his partner continued treatment of the patient. At one point EMT Grills looked at his partner and stated that he did not feel well. At that time he suffered a massive stroke and died two days later.
Unfortunately, EMT Grills was not accorded the EMS/Public Safety funeral that he deserved. In 1986 not many EMS deaths were recognized with such honors. On Wednesday, May 23 2012, the oversight of not according EMT Grills the respect that he deserved was corrected. Approximately 100 EMS and fire personnel and honor guards from around the state gathered in a small cemetery in Grills' hometown where a new marker that now recognizes Grills for his service and sacrifice was placed.
A section of US Route 60 that runs through Carter County was renamed in his honor.