Nugent family paramedic Christopher Jennings remembered for his laughter and sense of humor

6:52 PM, Jul 21, 2013   |    comments
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Christopher Jennings (left) meets with Ireland Nugent and her mother back in May. Jennings was among the first responders who came to Ireland's aid when she was accidentally run over by a riding lawn mower.
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Palm Harbor, Florida -- Friends and family have a final farewell to Sunstar paramedic Christopher Jennings. They remembered him as a great mentor, an amazing friend but it was his positive outlook on life and his laughter, his contagious laughter, they will carry in their hearts.

"I don't think there was a day we didn't laugh with Chris or at Chris," said Chris Eisenhardt, Jennings' SWAT team supervisor.

Through stories, pictures and videos Jennings' family saw the man his friends knew and loved. 

Jennings died during an off-duty motorcycle accident July 8. He's remembered for being a jokester and the guy known as "CJ" and "Sunshine".

It's a name he earned after being forced to sing, "You Are My Sunshine," during training camp.

"A leader by words and a leader by example," said one coworker.

Jennings loved his job and colleagues say he strived to be the best while serving as a SWAT paramedic with the sheriff's office.

"He was always kind and caring to his patients," said Eisenhardt.

Patients such as Ireland Nugent, the little girl who lost her legs in a lawnmower accident. The two recently reunited during Ireland's recovery.

"He was there when I couldn't be. Doing things I wish I could have been doing making -- faces to her in back of the ambulance, trying to make her as happy as she could be," said Nicole Nugent, Ireland's mother at his memorial. "It's a great loss. I know he didn't consider himself a hero. Certainly, in our family, he was a hero."

Jennings is remembered as the hero, friend, mentor and role model.

"Always strive to be better, always strive to help those who need help -- that was Chris," said Eisenhardt.

At the ceremony, dispatch radioed out one last call for Jennings.

"This is the last call for paramedic Christopher Jennings. May he forever rest in peace."

Isabel Mascarenas

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