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Published on April 02, 2024
Tennessee State Sen. Southerland Receives Emergency Medical Aid During Legislative SessionSource: Tennessee General Assembly Official Website

Tennessee State Sen. Steve Southerland faced a medical scare on the legislative floor Monday, prompting an immediate response from fellow lawmakers and emergency personnel. In an episode that interrupted proceedings, the 69-year-old Republican from Morristown required urgent medical attention and was quickly wheeled out of the Senate chamber, visibly conscious but experiencing troubling symptoms that have not yet been disclosed.

Adam Kleinheider, a spokesperson for Senate Speaker Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, reported to NewsChannel5 that "Sen. Southerland experienced unspecified symptoms during the Bill Dance presentation and was removed from the chamber by fellow senators." While details of the senator's condition were not forthcoming, his departure came abruptly as "he was attended to by EMS and taken to the hospital." Meanwhile, observers noted Southerland's alertness as he was escorted out, suggesting the senator was not entirely incapacitated by the episode.

The nature of Sen. Southerland's medical emergency has remained tightly under wraps. Sources such as AP News highlighted the swift aid provided by other senators and the subsequent hospitalization. Southerland, a respected figure in Tennessee politics, has been serving the Senate since 2002 and is currently at the helm of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. His considerable tenure includes representing District 9, which encompasses an expanse through Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Sevier and Unicoi counties.

As the senator was promptly taken to receive medical care, the specifics of his health status were not immediately made available Monday evening. Nevertheless, the expression of concern amongst his colleagues was palpable, illustrating the bipartisan spirit that occasionally pierces through the veil of political division. "Sen. Southerland was alert when he was taken out," reported Kleinheider, according to informants from FOX 17, which was consistant with previous statements indicating that Southerland had managed to maintain consciousness amidst the ordeal. The Capitol and greater Tennessee community now wait, with bated breath, to learn more about the senator's condition and prognosis.