CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Emergency responders are honoring a local hero who died suddenly on Saturday.
Captain Ryan Hubbard was a volunteer at Christiansburg rescue and a professional paramedic at Carilion, with dreams of becoming so much more.
A ribbon sticker is now on the back of every Christiansburg ambulance, made exclusively to reflect the unique person it honors. It's a sticker no one expected to ever see.
"We're all still kind of numb. It's really tough to process," said Rescue Chief Joe Coyle
"I still almost don't believe it," said Captain Quinci Donahue.
Ryan Hubbard died without warning last weekend. The news has rocked medical professionals throughout the New River Valley. Hubbard was a Captain at the Christiansburg Rescue Squad, but was involved with nearly every EMS provider in the area.
There's no question Hubbard made a huge impact on the thousands of people he interacted with in the medical professional world. Since his death Saturday, agencies across the New River Valley have posted to social media about his death, and hundreds more have commented, offering their condolences.
"We've seen the outpouring of support. People we didn't know knew him and had been impacted by him was really touching to see how many lives he actually had touched," Coyle said.
Hubbard had plans to become a flight medic and advance his medical career. He was also an avid Star Wars fan, and spent much of his free time as a Storm Trooper.
"It was truly a joyful passion that we could take a part in and he even had his own uniform that's similar to this that was made up for more of a Star Wars theme that he shared," said Captain Justin Gross.
Numerous memorials reflect his unique style. A sign and Christiansburg Rescue SUV outside the rescue squad serve as a public memorial as the region honors a man who helped save countless lives.
Two memorial services are scheduled this weekend: one in Christiansburg, another in Hubbard's hometown in Henry County.
Agencies from the New River Valley have helped cover calls for Christiansburg rescue.