Be well. Practice big medicine.

Newman | The Positive Paramedic #26 Recommend early, recommend often

John Levac on one of many CSL EMS roadtrips to Baltimore County.

A nugget of EMS organizational wisdom every day. #26 Recommend early, recommend often

Here’s an exercise I recommend for every EMS leader. Write letters of recommendation for each member of your team as part of your monthly reports. Keep the letters of recommendation private if you’d like or share selections/all of them with the individuals you are writing about that month.

It’s a marvelous way to remind yourself of the extraordinary talent that surrounds you.

I wrote ‘recommendation notes’ every month for seven years as the Head Coach of CSL EMS. They served as bookmarks for the success we achieved as a team and milestones for the individuals I was writing about.

Lyne B continues to master the dual roles of student and instructor. Having just completed a one-week placement program with the Baltimore County Fire Department, she returned to Montreal and taught a seminar in Airway Management as part of our continuing education program. In Baltimore County, she rolled on EMS calls as a third-medic-on, took part in a one-day SCBA course, a one-day Vehicle Extrication course, and toured the Shock trauma Center. She then synthesized all of that information and put together an Airway Essentials program for our own medics.

Brian L has brought real enthusiasm and passion to our Heartsaver CPR/First Aid program – leading our team in a First Aid 1-2-3 class for 27 special needs students at John Grants High School. It was a first for the school. All of the students successfully completed the course and received their certification from the Red Cross. Brian’s ability to understand team dynamics has led to the very successful resurgence of these essential programs.

The success of Luigi D’s Make The Right Call program continues to expand well beyond the borders of our community. He is in constant demand as a guest speaker at elementary schools throughout the Montreal area. Luigi’s attention-to-detail and great ability to connect with children is on display every time he rolls into a classroom and walks the students and their teachers through how to access the EMS system through 911.

And finally, as part of a grade six project at their school, our twin 11-year-old daughters required a reference letter be written by one of their parents. My wife wrote a letter for Emma and I wrote one for Sophie.

The letter had to be hand written on a piece of lined paper. And so, I found myself sitting at Australia* staring at a blank piece of paper with pen in hand.

“It is a wonderful privilege to have Sophie as my daughter. Her joie-de-vivre, passion and curiosity are boundless. She is a gentle, caring advocate for all animals – especially rescued dogs and cats…

It was a beautiful writing exercise that provided me with an opportunity to express just how proud I am to be Sophie’s daddy. I’m thinking it’s something all parents ought to try from time-to-time.

Be well. Practice big medicine.


* The island in our new kitchen is so big we decided it was really a continent and promptly christened it as ‘Australia’

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