20 Oct Paramedics recognized for going above the call of duty
At the first in-person award ceremony since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC) handed out seven special awards to deserving recipients: five to paramedics going above and beyond, risking their own safety for the safety and protection of others, and two paramedic service leaders for their contributions to elevating paramedicine in Ontario.
The special awards include the Dr. Norman H. McNally Award for acts of “conspicuous bravery,” and the Richard J. Armstrong award for both outstanding leadership and significant contributions to paramedicine in Ontario.
The McNally award recipients included:
- 2020: Julie Grainger from York Region Paramedic Service for rescuing and treating a patient who had fallen down a 150-foot wastewater access shaft.
- 2021: Matt Hickey and Lucas Leggett of Muskoka Paramedic Services for rescuing and treating a mother and two young children from the second story of their burning house.
- 2022: Stephen Walsh and Maciej Wisniewski of Ottawa Paramedic Service for rescuing and treating two men trapped in fuselage and covered in fuel after their ultralight aircraft struck a hydro pole and started three small brush fires.
The Armstrong award recipients included:
- 2021: Superior North EMS’ Shane Muir for leadership administering mobile testing and vaccinations for vulnerable individuals in his community, and for his paramedic advocacy to ensure frontline paramedics were a priority for testing and vaccines so they could meet the demands on the road.
- 2022: British Columbia Emergency Health Services’ Kevin Smith (former Chief of Niagara EMS) for his mentorship and encouragement to advance many paramedics’ skills and careers; strengthening partnerships with local paramedic colleges and leading transformative change in Niagara’s EMS system.
“Every day, paramedics face unique challenges and show courage when responding to people in need. The individuals we honour this year went far beyond what’s expected,” said OAPC Past President Peter F. Dundas. “They stepped up in moments of danger, with bravery and selflessness, to help another facing extreme stress and fear.”
“Two of our leaders, also stepped up beyond expectation,” he continued. “They took charge for their services, their colleagues and for the profession. They demonstrate the best of us, and we’re proud to recognize them with these awards.”
Click here for the full media release, which includes the full stories behind why these individuals were awarded.