Friends and family pay final respects to Russell Piehl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hundreds gather in Denver to mourn loss of flight paramedic Russell Piehl


Nearly 400 friends and family members paid their final respects to the flight paramedic killed in the Jan. 2 medical helicopter crash near Ventura.

A funeral was held on Wednesday at St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver for Russell Piehl, 48, of Forest City.

Piehl's casket was transported by ambulance to his burial site at Fairview Cemetery, also in Denver.

Piehl, who was born in Waterloo, began his Emergency Medical Services career in 1982 while a senior at Denver Community High School. He was a first responder with the Denver Ambulance Service.

Throughout the past 30-years, Piehl worked at various ambulance services across Iowa.

He became a Mercy MedFlight paramedic in 2007 and also served as a member of the Forest City Ambulance Service.

Piehl is survived by his wife Melody and children Kayla, Jesse, Tricia, Brandon, Courtney and Cassie.  He also has two grandchildren, Kaiden and Zoe.

Family members expressed gratitude to those who have reached out to them at this time. They said hearing stories of how Piehl touched so many lives has been comforting.

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