Retired Madison County Emergency Medical District (EMD) Chief Jay Scaggs died Wednesday at the age of 69. Scaggs was a prominent figure in Madison County, having served as EMS chief and sheriff for the county for more than 30 years.
In addition to being chief, Scaggs was instrumental in establishing the medical service as a Madison County entity in the 1980s.
“At the time, the EMD was just a volunteer service and they had to hire an outside ambulance company to do their runs,” said Lt. Carolyn Anderson of the EMD. “Jay approached their board about making this a more permanent thing. He really wanted it for the citizens.” The service began operating on July 4, 1981.
“Between volunteering and working as chief, he was here 42 years,” Anderson said. “He brought this department from nothing to something to be proud of.” She said she was hired by Scaggs and was immediately aware of his passion for serving the public.
That dedication to public service is likely what Scaggs will be most remembered for. Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabin spent Thursday afternoon with the Scaggs family and said he couldn’t help but to reflect on his service.
“I’ve had a lot of interaction with Jay over the years,” Sabin said. “He was active in many of the meetings with First Responder organizations. His public service was very, very dear to him. He truly enjoyed it.”
Scaggs started out as deputy sheriff in August 1982, which is where Sabin first met him.
“Since then, he’s worked continuously to serve his community,” said Sabin. “Jay was very family oriented above everything else. His second family was the First Responders and law enforcement. He gave a lot to this community and his years of service are a testament to his abilities.”
Scaggs was born on Oct. 1, 1948 in Columbus and spent his life serving the people of Madison County. Aside from the positions he held in the county, he was also active in the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association, an organization dedicated to the advancement and updating of sheriffs across the state. He is survived by his wife, Carole Ann, two sons and three daughters. Funeral services will be held at the Eberle-Fisher Funeral Home and Crematory at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3.
On the following Wednesday, Dec. 6, there will be a full funeral procession through London to Kirkwood Cemetery, starting at 3:15 p.m., according to Lt. Anderson.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.