National Paramedic Week celebrates ‘Faces of Paramedicine’

One of the younger visitors on hand for the Manitoulin Sudbury District Services Board paramedic services open house at the Gore Bay station was Orianna McGuin, shown in photo with paramedic Serah Williams. The youngster had a great time taking over the steering wheel, and turning on all horns and lights on the ambulance.

MANITOULIN—There is one thing you never want to call a paramedic—ambulance driver—because they are so very much more than that. In fact, there is a veritable army of individuals that stand in support of out-of-hospital care behind the 8,600 men and women across this province who arrive on the scene of a medical emergency—hence the theme of this year’s National Paramedic Week: Faces of Paramedicine, May 22-28.

“This week, we recognize our amazing paramedics who demonstrate day in and day out, just how dedicated and professional they are in their service to our communities,” Manitoulin Sudbury District Services Board Chief of Paramedic Services Paul Myre told The Expositor. “This year’s theme is ‘Faces of Paramedicine’ which truly encapsulates the transformation and evolution the paramedic profession has undergone over the last several years. This theme also acknowledges all of the important people who contribute their support and expertise so that our paramedics can be successful in their delivery of patient care. This includes all of the support staff, communications officers, educators, researchers to name a few. The many ‘faces’ of our Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB paramedics are vital to the provision of patient care and are absolutely critical to the success of our society’s collective health care mission. From our 9-1-1 response to our community paramedics, our paramedics have demonstrated their unwavering agility in their approach to their mission of supporting our health care system when it needs them most.  As chief of paramedic services, I am proud to lead and recognize such a diverse, engaged and effective force of paramedics who stand at the ready to serve those in need.”

“Our paramedic services and their teams have stepped up day after day to respond to the pandemic and provide care where needed—in homes and clinics, on the roadway, on trails, in waterways,” said Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs president Peter F. Dundas in a release. “We rely on so many to help us do what we do and I’m proud to honour all of these brave women and men who work together to keep communities safe and healthy.”

This year’s celebration of National Paramedic Week focused on different specialities with the paramedic profession. The Paramedic Chiefs of Canada were encouraging paramedic services and organizations to highlight the many people in their respective organizations, focussing on a different group each day of the week.

On Monday, it was the communications crew, those folks at 9-1-1 dispatch who are most often the first point of contact for those reporting a medical distress. On Tuesday, it is the civilian and community paramedics who were in the limelight, on Wednesday the spotlight centres on the specialties (including bicycle teams, professional development specialists, technical rescue teams, mental health and addiction response teams, falls prevention teams and emergency communications nurses). On Thursday, it’s educators and research, Friday, support services (that’s logistics, fleet management, procurement and occupational health and safety) before then wrapping up on Saturday with a recognition day for all paramedics.

An outstanding video presentation by OPSEU Local 679 that introduces members of the Manitoulin Sudbury DSB to the community they cover can be found by searching YouTube.com for ‘MSDSB OPSEU Local 679 Paramedic Week 2022.’