Emergency care providers from Greater Sudbury gathered at Tom Davies Square on May 17 to honour local paramedics in a ceremony that kicked off National Emergency Medical Services week.
The ceremony included a presentation of the fifth annual Léonce Séguin Memorial Award, given to a dedicated paramedic committed to furthering their education and professional skills. Séguin was an advanced paramedic with the city who died of cancer at the age of 34.
The award was presented to Collège Boréal primary care paramedic professor René Lapierre.
“I am very honoured to receive this award,” Lapierre said in a press release. “The field of paramedic and emergency care requires a constant renewal of your skills and knowledge. Not only is it important for the quality and effectiveness of the care out in the field, but also for my personal ability to offer the best possible learning experience for my students enrolled in the paramedic program at Collège Boréal.”
Tim Beadman, chief of emergency services for Greater Sudbury, said he is proud Lapierre.
“René is one of our most committed paramedics; the work he does not only as a care provider but as a teacher and mentor is truly worthy of recognition.”
Other awards were also handed out for professionals who have been serving the community for at least 10 years at the street level.
Paramedics Leo Gauthier, Cathy Mackenzie, Sue Lavergne, and Sue Rutkowski also received recognition of their years of service in the form of service bars, an award program initiated by the Governor General.
Gauthier received a 40-year service award, and Mackenzie, Lavergne and Rutkowski received 30-year service awards.
Several Governor General of Canada's Exemplary Service Medals were presented to city paramedics as well. The medals recognize professionals with over 20 years in professions with potential risk or death to the individual. At least 10 of the 20 years must be spent on street-levels.
The city's EMS division operates 30 emergency vehicles on a 24 hours a day, seven days a week schedule, responding to more than 35,250 calls a year.
National EMS week runs from May 16-22.