Services are planned Saturday for one of the state's first paramedics.
Capt. Michael "Mike" D. Finley, Georgia Paramedic No. 64, of Cumming, died Jan. 24 at his home following a short illness. He was 63.
With a career that spanned more than three decades, Finley retired from Dawson County Emergency Services in 2008 after 19 years with the department.
Finley was a part of the EMS leadership team that led Dawson County to be Georgia's EMS Service of the Year in 2000, according to Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford.
"During his career at Dawson County he worked to bring many new ideas to the field of emergency medicine and was a strong advocate of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing," Swafford said. "Capt. Finley believed that for each patient, there was a secondary patient. Sometime that was the family of the patient and sometime it was the caregiver or medic.
"Regardless, Capt. Finley believed that EMS had a duty to care for all individuals involved."
Finley began his career with DeKalb County Fire Department in 1973, following in the footsteps of his firefighter father.
"That same year, he became one of the first certified paramedics (then known as an Advanced EMT) in the state," Swafford said.
The veteran lifesaver accomplished many milestones in his 35-year career, which included service in Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett and Hall counties, as well as with the Dawson County Sheriff's Office.
"He delivered over 25 babies and worked to improve the quality of lives for thousands of sick and injured patients he cared for," Swafford said. "Dawson County Emergency Services wishes to extend our prayers and condolences to the family."
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 1 in the chapel at Ingram Funeral Home in Cumming.