A central Minnesota paramedic collapsed and died Wednesday night while on duty.

Toby Rowan, 47, had just finished responding to a medical call for the Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, Minn. and was still on the scene when he collapsed, according to a statement from the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies and other paramedics who had responded to the call attempted to revive Rowan, but were unsuccessful.

The patient who Rowan was trying to save also died, the sheriff's office said.

Rowan had worked for the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) for the past five years. His wife, Darcy, is a nurse at the hospital, which is located in Crosby.

"This is hard for all of us," CRMC Emergency Medical Services Director Bob McLaughlin said in a statement. "We are grateful that CRMC is truly a family."

An honor guard consisting of emergency medical services personnel, police officers and firefighters from across the state followed behind a hearse Thursday evening as it made its way along Hwy. 210 to the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby, Minn., the hospital's statement said.

"Toby was a very wonderful paramedic to work with," said Victoria Nelson, with Remer Area Ambulance Service of Remer, Minn.

She said in a Facebook message that she often took patients to CRMC and Rowan "would come into our truck with his gear and was always ready for what our patient required. Toby was always encouraging to me and my crew. Toby would praise us for doing all we could for our patient."

In his off time, Rowan enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, camping and traveling. He also liked sitting in his "blue chair" and spending time with his two dogs and a cat, the statement said.

Besides his wife, Rowan is survived by his parents, two sons and two stepdaughters.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768