LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – They came from all around on this cold Saturday morning to pay their respects to the late John Bond.

For most, Bond, a pioneer in ambulance service, was a longtime friend and/or mentor to the many who braved the bitter winds and occasional snow flurry.

This photo of John Bond was snapped by WLAF’s Charlie Hutson on a near perfect day in May of 2019. John was attending a picnic at Seargeant’s Park as the La Follette Medical Center recognized the Campbell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and other First Responders as part of National EMS Week.

Anderson, Claiborne, Grainger, Knox, AMR and others from East Tennessee, not to mention the local departments, were all there. If they didn’t know the personable Bond, it’s guaranteed they sure knew of him.

Near the Powell Valley Cemetery, EMS  lined the roadside and blocked traffic on the east bound side of Stiner Hwy for the motorcade to make its way to Bond’s final resting place.

Bond arrived in Campbell County as a very young man in the 1950s. That was quite a coup for the La Follette Community Hospital now known as Tennova La Follette Medical Center. No doubt it was a loss for Russellville, Kentucky, Bond’s hometown.

One of Bond’s first positions at LCH was working in the lab. Somewhere around 1970, the US government ruled that funeral homes were no longer allowed to transport patients to the hospital without meeting certain criteria, and many counties and hospitals created local ambulance services. That’s where Bond’s career path took a big turn.

Units were lined up as far as you could see as John Bond was honored on Saturday morning.

In 1973, Bond was charged with setting up and directing the ambulance service for the La Follette Hospital (later the Campbell County Ambulance Service) and spent 35 years at that post. He was one of the youngest ambulance directors in the state, and he was also one of the first EMTs (Emergency Medical Technician) in Tennessee.

He was the former president of Tennessee Ambulance Service Association (TASA). Annually, the “John Bond Administrator of the Year” award is presented by the TASA.

Along the way, he served on the Campbell County Commission for 12 years and was the Emergency Management Director. Bond served on the Campbell County E911 Board, on the State EMS and 911 Board.

In 2016, Nathan Sweet with Anderson County EMS joined the long list of annual honorees who’ve received the John Bond EMS Administrator Award over the years.

VitalCare Medical Transportation was founded by Bond in March of 2008. Kamille Bond-McGlone and Jeff Bond, one of Bond’s daughters and sons, continue Bond’s tradition of service at VitalCare which is based in La Follette.


One Reply to “Bond was a pioneer in ambulance service”

  1. John Bond was one of the last of a dying breed……….a true Southern, Christian gentleman. He was in the audience some years ago when our beloved Cindi was doing a Presentation, and she looked out and saw him with tears rolling down his sweet face because he was so very proud of her. We always felt that way about each other’s children and told such pride in each one of them. Rest in Peace, Nice Man, you have earned your reward. Heaven’s Gain is our Loss!

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