May 24-30 is Paramedic Services Week in Canada. Paramedics are at the front line of health care, are highly trained and cool under pressure. They are on the scene of a medical emergency within minutes, providing critical pre-hospital medical care – everything from helping heart attack victims, to stabilizing broken bones, bandaging wounds and performing emergency child birthing procedures.
Responding from 12 ambulance stations throughout Halton Region, our more than 220 full and part-time Paramedic Services personnel respond to more than 50,000 calls for service each year – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 2014, Halton Region paramedics transported over 26,000 patients to area hospitals, including over 150 heart attack patients rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab.
Across the country and here in Halton Region, events are planned to honour Paramedic Services personnel, following the theme of ‘Expanding Care.’
- On May 20, I had the pleasure of speaking at the graduation ceremony for four new Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) graduates – Kevin Hutchinson, Kimberley Kennedy, Matthew Kennedy and Abby McMillan. The ACP designation allows Primary Care Paramedics to build on their existing knowledge with an advanced care certification that provides graduates with advanced skills in respiratory, cardiac, trauma, obstetric and pediatric care. Their training means enhanced care and options for those in need of emergency pre-hospital attention. ACP graduates are highly sought-after and we are both lucky and proud to have them. Congratulations!
- On May 25, I was invited to officially open the new Oakville Paramedic Services Station #14. In an emergency situation, every minute is critical. This new, state-of-the-art facility on Pine Glen road will allow Halton Region to improve emergency response times, handle increasing call volumes and continue to meet the needs of our growing population.
- On May 27, Halton Regional Council approved the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan. The plan serves as a blueprint for operational, capital and organizational decisions related to the delivery of paramedic services from 2015 to 2025. The plan employs many strategies and tactics to maintain and improve paramedic response times to keep pace with our growing and aging population.
- Also on May 27, Paramedic Kyle Laing was honoured with an Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery for his role in rescuing a Burlington family from the lake after high winds and metre-high waves capsized their boat off Hamilton Harbour. The award was presented by The Hon. Eric Hoskins, Minster of Health and Long-Term Care at a ceremony at Queen’s Park. Paramedic Laing’s outstanding act of courage and bravery while off-duty are an inspiration to us all.
The dedication, compassion and strong desire to help people is what all our Paramedics bring to work every day and embodies why Halton Region continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “the Carr Report”.