The Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC) has recognized five worthy paramedics with Awards for their actions to preserve public health and safety in Ontario and to advance the profession of paramedicine.

Darrell Drew and Perrine Corman from Ottawa Paramedic Service, who received The Dr. Norman H. McNally Award:

This Award recognizes acts of conspicuous bravery by paramedics in the performance of their duties. It was established in 1976 to honour its namesake who, as Director of the fledgling Ambulance Service Branch, brought standardization to vehicles, equipment and prehospital care. Because of his success, many consider him the “father” of the current Ontario ambulance system.

During a call in March of 2017, Superintendent Drew and Paramedic Corman encountered two patients in an altered state, one of whom threatened the paramedic crew with a butcher’s knife. Drew disarmed the patient while he and Corman led the others to safety. They are receiving this Award for displaying the highest level of professionalism in providing the best possible care for the patients during the incident and continuing to provide care after the scene was secured by police.


Franco Tignanelli of District of Nipissing Paramedic Service and Ian Gibson of Halton Region Paramedic Services will receive The OAPC Award of Courage:

This Award considers conspicuous acts of bravery by a paramedic while off duty.

In June 2019, Paramedic Ian Gibson was off duty at a restaurant in Kitchener. A female entered the restaurant who was yelling loudly that her leg was injured. Gibson approached the female to help and realized she had sustained a gunshot wound that was actively bleeding. While treating the female, he observed a male lying in the parking lot near a vehicle who appeared to be in distress. Gibson instructed staff at the restaurant to continue applying pressure to the patient’s wound, and quickly went out to the parking lot to render assistance to the male.  Gibson observed a female hiding by a vehicle who did not appear to be injured, so he proceeded to the male.  Gibson assessed the male, who was initially combative, and then went into cardiac arrest.  Gibson, initiated CPR until Waterloo Regional Police arrived a short time later.  Gibson and police officers continued CPR until the arrival of Region of Waterloo Paramedics.  The patient was subsequently resuscitated and airlifted to a trauma unit.

In March19, Paramedic Franco Tignanelli noticed smoke coming from a house that he was driving past. Without any hesitation, he drove to the residence and tried to determine if anyone was inside. Unfortunately, the house was filled with smoke, and he was unable to see anything. Tignanelli proceeded to the front door and pried the door open with a shovel, only to be faced with smoke and flames. Determined to make sure no one was in the house, Tignanelli and  North Bay City Parks workers whom had also come upon the scene began to throw snow into the entrance to the house. They were successful in suppressing the flames enough to see the outline of a person standing on the other side of the house. Tignanelli entered the house (that was still actively on fire) picking up the resident and carrying her to safety.

Frontenac Paramedics’ Heather Edward will be presented with The Richard J. Armstrong Leadership


The Award recognizes outstanding leadership and significant contributions to EMS in Ontario.

Over the course of her career as a paramedic and a leader, Edward progressed to Superintendent and Acting Deputy Commander at Toronto Paramedic Services and now to Deputy Chief at Frontenac Paramedics. Edward leads by example, coaching and mentoring paramedics every day. She promotes and practices Just Culture, an atmosphere of trust in which healthcare workers are supported and treated fairly even when something goes wrong. Edward is a highly skilled and inspirational leader who has received recognition throughout her life, including the award for Best Army Cadet in Canada, which was presented to her by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Edward obtained a Master of Arts degree in leadership in 2018 from the University of Guelph.