Ontario is honouring 21 paramedics from across the province with the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery. Recipients will be honoured in a ceremony Thursday evening at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
The paramedics are being recognized for acts of exceptional courage – performed on the job or off duty – in the face of grave, personal danger. Recipients include:
Paramedics who were some of the first responders to the October 2014 shooting on Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial
Two paramedics who provided care for critically injured firefighters at an active factory fire and explosion
Two paramedics who witnessed a head-on collision and came to the aid of nine patients at the scene of the accident.
Supporting the work of paramedics is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
The Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery honours paramedics who have performed an act of exceptional courage while on the job or off duty.
This year’s recipients are:
Advanced Care Paramedic Brad Ashby – Toronto Paramedic Services
On the night of November 7, 2015, Advanced Care Paramedic Brad Ashby was called to a house fire. As the first emergency responder at the scene, he entered a burning building not knowing the state of the fire but only concerned that there was a person still inside. He was persistent in his efforts to remove the person while battling worsening smoke and fire under extremely hazardous conditions.
Paramedic Matthew Breadner and Paramedic Tiffany Shaw – Grey County Paramedic Services
During the afternoon of August 30, 2015, paramedics Matthew Breadner and Tiffany Shaw were returning from a call when they witnessed a head-on collision between two vehicles on a highway just south of Owen Sound. Two of nine victims were trapped in their cars in serious condition. After ensuring one of the trapped people was in stable condition, the two paramedics, working together, successfully removed the second victim from the rear of the vehicle moments before it was engulfed in flames.
Paramedic Joe Ferguson and Paramedic Dale Hodgins – County of Frontenac Paramedic Services
On a December morning, paramedics Joe Ferguson and Dale Hodgins responded to a call where a car had veered off a road and crashed into a house at the point of the gas meter. The natural gas leak made for an extremely volatile and unpredictable rescue, yet these paramedics still worked to remove the victim from the vehicle.
Paramedic Shachar Gabay – Toronto Paramedic Services
On March 30, 2015, paramedic Shachar Gabay and his partner received a call to attend an incident where a car crashed into a tree with the driver possibly trapped. With the engine compartment already on fire, Gabay was able to enter from the backseat, unfasten the driver’s seatbelt, and pull the driver outside just as the car became totally engulfed in flames.
Chief Anthony Di Monte, Superintendent Rodney Hamberger, Paramedics Michael Call, Mylene Carbonneau, Eric Jetten, David Perras, Dan Pollock and Adam Whiteford – Ottawa Paramedic Services
On the morning of October 22, 2014, numerous calls flooded in to 9-1-1 as the terrorist attack in Ottawa unfolded. Beginning at the National War Memorial, and followed by reports of gunfire at Parliament Hill, Chief Anthony Di Monte instantly responded and was the first paramedic at Corporal Nathan Cirillo’s side. He was quickly followed by Superintendent Rod Hamberger, Paramedics Michael Call, Robert Glenn, Mylene Carbonneau, Eric Jetten, David Perras, Dan Pollock and Adam Whiteford. Without regard for their own safety they responded into a chaotic, uncontrolled scene.
Advance Care Paramedic Nicole Gilchrist and Primary Care Paramedic Lynne Ross – Region of Durham Paramedic Service
On the night of June 7, 2015, paramedics Lynn Ross and Nicole Gilchrist noticed a woman sitting on a bridge railing, with her feet dangling over the side, facing a ravine where the drop to the creek below was about 100 feet. By quickly approaching the woman and persistently holding on to her, even at the risk of being pulled over the bridge themselves, they prevented her from committing suicide.
Paramedic Nick Maus and Paramedic Kyle Stewart – Grey County Paramedic Services
On August 10, 2015, arsonists set fires to single family dwellings, multi-unit complexes and backyard sheds and commercial properties across Owen Sound. Paramedics Nick Maus and Kyle Stewart, who had been treating patients for smoke inhalation, discovered the rear of a semi-detached home and a large shed engulfed in flames posing a risk to adjacent properties. They entered the burning building, the interior of the home filled with smoke, and successfully saved two occupants.
Paramedic Ean Smith and Eryn Smith – Peel Region Paramedic Services
At 4:30 am on April 23, 2014 a commercial fire began in a supposedly empty building in Mississauga, which was actually filled with undeclared combustible items. Paramedics Ean Smith and Eryn Smith arrived as the building was totally engulfed in flames and firefighters were entering the structure. Soon after, fireballs and explosions ensued and a wall collapsed on those inside. With virtually no protection, paramedics moved forward with other firefighters into the danger zone, and provided care to other injured first responders.
Paramedic Brad Smith – County of Renfrew Paramedic Service
On February 12, 2012, during an accident scene on Calabogie Lake, a snowmobiler was stranded in frigid water. Paramedic Brad Smith, with the assistance of his crew, used a nearby canoe to break through into the open water. He then used his hands as a paddle and steered the canoe to reach the victim. While transferring the patient into the rescue boat he was pitched into the icy water, and his crew helped pull him to safety.