Category Archives: Ontario

Canada | Outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador with cases of human illness linked to frozen raw breaded chicken products.

Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products. The risk to Canadians is low, and illnesses can be avoided if safe food handling, preparation and cooking practices are followed when preparing these types of food products.

Currently there are 44 cases of Salmonella illness in four provinces: Ontario (28), Quebec (12), Nova Scotia (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (2). Twelve people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between February 7 and May 23, 2015. Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to frozen raw breaded chicken products has emerged as a source of illness.

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are more fragile than healthy individuals.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others.

If you are preparing frozen raw breaded chicken products there are precautions you should take to protect your health.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling raw poultry products.
  • Use a separate plate, cutting board, and utensils when handling raw poultry products to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
  • Frozen raw breaded chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, but some contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently than raw poultry products.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked poultry products. Cook all frozen, stuffed, breaded or raw poultry products to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat. Whole poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).
  • Due to uneven heating, microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded poultry products including chicken nuggets, strips or burgers is not recommended. Always follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal or contaminated product.

Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last four to seven days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment. In some cases severe illness and hospitalization may occur. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care providers if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

Ontario #ON | #Ottawa – Learn how to save a life in two minutes – #CPR

Pop quiz: You’re helping a family member or friend to replace a light fixture. Unknown to you, the DIY enthusiast you’re helping hasn’t turned off the main breaker. Suddenly, there’s a shower of sparks and the person with the screwdriver in their hand falls motionless in front of you. You can’t find a pulse! What do you do?

Find out in just a couple of minutes, this Friday at lunchtime in the ByWard Market.

As part of National Paramedic Week 2015, Ottawa paramedics along with paramedics from ORNGE will be teaching the public what to do in the event of a cardiac emergency by offering a personalized two-minute lesson in basic Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills:

Friday, May 29
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
ByWard Market – at William and York Streets

Aimed at those who have never taken formal CPR training, two-minute CPR is a new approach that teaches participants the basics, including calling 9-1-1, proper hand positioning and the optimal rate and depth of compressions. Participants are advised the training is not a certification course.

Paramedic staff will also be on hand to demonstrate the easy-to-use Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The Ottawa Paramedic Service manages 900 city-owned AEDs, located in City libraries, recreation centres, arenas, pools, beaches, marked police cars, fire vehicles and OC Transpo security vehicles.

Serving an area of 2,796 square kilometres, Ottawa’s paramedics are the sole medically certified providers of out-of-hospital medical treatment in Ottawa. Paramedic communication officers answer 9-1-1 emergency calls 24/7 to quickly assist residents in need.

In 2014, the Ottawa Paramedic Service trained more than 13,000 people in first aid, CPR and AED including City staff. For more information on CPR and first-aid courses, visit

Ontario #ON | 18 #paramedics to receive inaugural Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery

Eighteen paramedics will receive Ontario’s top honours for their outstanding bravery. 

In an inaugural ceremony, 18 paramedics will be recognized for acts of exceptional courage – performed on the job or off-duty – in the face of grave personal danger.

“Paramedics play a central role on the front lines of Ontario’s health care system. The province’s new Award for Paramedic Bravery not only honours the outstanding bravery of these eighteen paramedics, it also provides us with an opportunity to recognize and thank the thousands of paramedics across the province who serve the public every single day.” – Norm Gale, President of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs and Chief of Superior North EMS.

The recipients to receive the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery include:

  • Paramedics who intervened to assist victims of the Danzig Street and Eaton Centre shootings in Toronto
  • An off-duty paramedic who pulled victims of a capsized boat to safety in the face of metre-high waves and powerful wind gusts
  • Two paramedics who intervened in a violent fight between an undercover police officer and a dangerous suspect
  • An off-duty paramedic who left her own vehicle to single-handedly rescue another driver from a burning car.

The Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery will be presented annually.

  • In 2012, about 1.3 million ambulances were dispatched and about 970,000 patients were transported in Ontario.
  • In Ontario, there are three levels of paramedics: Primary Care Paramedics, Advanced Care Paramedics and Critical Care Paramedics.
  • Paramedics undertake rigorous pre-service training through a two-year college or university-based training program and are regulated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

“I’m proud to honour eighteen outstanding paramedics through Ontario’s new Award for Paramedic Bravery. Paramedics play a critical role in the health and safety of Ontarians, providing life-saving care in highly stressful situations. Today’s awards reflect our recognition of paramedics’ exceptional commitment to their communities and our gratitude for their selfless service.” – Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery Recipients:

Operations Superintendent Janice Baine, Paramedic Superintendent David Cooke, Primary Care Paramedic David Melville, Advanced Care Paramedic Mark Painter, Paramedic Glen Gillies and Paramedic Jody Van Schaik-Coulas – Toronto Paramedic Services

On July 16, 2012, repeated gunfire erupted at a community celebration in east-end Toronto, resulting in multiple casualties. The four paramedics and two superintendents who arrived on the scene met a surge of panicked people running down the street. While police searched for the shooters – still at large – the paramedics set up triage and treatment areas, putting their personal safety at risk. When they later learned that a shooter was hiding in their midst, the paramedics discreetly alerted the police, who were able to make an arrest without further injury.

Advanced Care Paramedic Robert J. Bronson and Paramedic Heiko Mueller – Toronto Paramedic Services

On November 4, 2011, during a busy Friday evening rush hour, bystanders watched as two men fought along the street near Danforth and Coxwell Avenues in Toronto. Paramedics Robert Bronson and Heiko Mueller came across this scene and intervened.

They quickly learned that one of the men involved in the fight was an undercover police officer who was attempting to arrest a dangerous suspect. The police officer’s firearm had become unsecured during the scuffle. Bronson and Mueller jumped in and helped the officer detain the suspect until police backup arrived.

Superintendent Anastasios Janetos, Superintendent Joseph Moyer, Advanced Care Paramedic Robert P. Kovacsi, Paramedic Jonathan la Fleur and Paramedic Michael Moran – Toronto Paramedic Services

On June 2, 2012, the Toronto Eaton Centre food court suddenly turned deadly when shots rang out and panicked diners went running for cover. Within a few minutes of the first 911 call, two superintendents and four paramedics were at the scene. These first responders immediately approached the basement-level food court, despite the risk to themselves. As they tended to the wounded – some of whom had life-threatening injuries – the paramedics had to duck for cover to avoid being caught in the continued gunfire.

Advanced Care Paramedic Kyle Laing – Halton Region Paramedic Services

Wind gusts of over 20 knots and metre-high waves turned what should have been a pleasant day of boating into a perilous situation on Friday August 31, 2012. A boat carrying five people had capsized after being flooded by high waves.

Paramedic Kyle Laing and another Halton Region paramedic were off duty and returning to Hamilton Harbour after a day of boating when they spotted the group in danger. Laing repeatedly jumped into the rough water to pull the endangered individuals to safety. Laing’s efforts bought precious time for the Hamilton Police Marine Unit, who subsequently arrived on the scene to provide additional support.

Paramedic Leslie Moore – Toronto Paramedic Services

On October 10, 2011, a car accident left the driver’s side of a vehicle tightly wedged against a concrete wall. The car burst into flames, trapping the lone driver. This was the situation that Paramedic Leslie Moore encountered when he arrived at the accident scene as a single emergency first responder.

Moore quickly grabbed fire extinguishers from his vehicle and worked to subdue the fire until fire fighters arrived. That’s when Moore succeeded in entering the vehicle and removing the patient, who was suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

Commander Ric Rangel-Bron – Toronto Paramedic Services

While Commander Ric Rangel-Bron was leading a group from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets on a trip in France, he spotted flames coming from the chimney and roof of a nearby house. He called for the bus to stop and, accompanied by two of his peers, ran into the burning house three times to save the endangered individuals inside. Rangel-Bron’s quick action and persistence ensured that everyone safely evacuated the house.

Paramedic Brad Smith – County of Renfrew Paramedic Service

On February 12, 2012, Paramedic Brad Smith responded to an accident scene on Calabogie Lake, where a snowmobiler was stranded in frigid water. Smith quickly spotted a canoe close by on the shore. Using his hands as a paddle, Smith steered the canoe to reach the patient a short distance away. In the meantime, fire and police arrived with a boat and set out to rendezvous with Smith.

During the course of his rescue mission, Smith was pitched into the icy water but continued to put his patient’s needs first.

After a distinguished career with the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service, Smith retired in December 2013.

Paramedic Andrea Szunejko – Peterborough County – City Paramedics

Paramedic Andrea Szunejko was off duty and driving along Highway 7 in Peterborough County on April 22, 2014, when a head-on crash involving two cars occurred directly in front of her. One of the vehicles burst into flames on impact. Szunejko jumped into action and, despite having no protective equipment, single-handedly rescued the driver from the burning vehicle.

Szunejko then turned her attention to the second vehicle, where a driver lay unconscious near the burning car. Working in close proximity to the flames, she directed and assisted the removal of the unconscious patient from the car and away from the danger zone.


#Canada | Canadian #CoastGuard seasonal #rescue stations resume ops #SAR

The Canadian Coast Guard announces the reopening of its seasonal rescue stations in Bainsville (Ontario), Pointe-aux-Anglais (Oka), Beaconsfield, Longueuil, Sorel and Trois-Rivières (Quebec).

These bases will be in regular operation starting at noon May 28, 2015 until September 7, 2015.

Any marine emergency can be reported to the Canadian Coast Guard 24/7:

Phone 1-800-463-4393 or 418-648-3599
Mobile *16
VHF radio channel 16 (156.8 Mhz)
Digital Selective Calling (DSC/VHF) channel 70
Radio frequency MF 2182 Khz.

For more information on the Canadian Coast Guard’s search and rescue services, visit the Web sites or

Ontario #ON | #Evacuation of #Kashechewan First Nation

Federal, provincial and First Nations officials are closely monitoring ice break up on the Moose, Albany and Attawapiskat rivers to assess the threat they might represent to communities on the James Bay coast.

Most residents of the Kashechewan First Nation have been evacuated because of the risks that fast-changing river conditions could pose to local infrastructure, such as the airstrip.  No further evacuations are necessary at this time but contingency planning continues.

Fort Albany First Nations has evacuated long-term care patients out of the community as a precaution.

The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre is working closely with First Nations, provincial ministries, federal departments, host communities and non-governmental organizations to coordinate evacuations and planning activities and look after the well-being of First Nations residents.


Ontario #ON | #Toronto pilots parks #wayfinding for #emergency services


The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division, in partnership with Toronto Police Service, Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services, is initiating an Emergency Services wayfinding pilot project in High Park and Centennial Park (Etobicoke) to improve the City’s capacity to respond to emergencies and non-emergency/incidents in its parks.

“The purpose of the pilot project is to implement a wayfinding approach to help Emergency Services locate the scene of an emergency or an incident within larger parks and on park trails,” said Councillor Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “This is an inaugural pilot project for Toronto and, if successful, is expected to contribute to improving park quality, safety and accessibility.”

The Emergency Services wayfinding project includes the installation and mapping of physical location identification signs at various Park Location Points. Geospatial data for the Park Location Points will be stored in the City’s emergency services mapping systems through the Geospatial Competency Centre.

The yellow Park Location Point signs are highly visible and easy to read, with instructions to call 911 or 311 with the unique Park Location ID number. Park Location Point signs will be installed in areas of high use and along trails at intervals no greater than 500 metres throughout the park. A total of 72 of the signs will be mapped out and installed in High Park and Centennial Park (Etobicoke) on waste bin posts, life saving stations, light poles and one picnic area, with the potential for an additional seven signs to be installed.

Residents, visitors and staff who want to report a 911 emergency or 311 non-emergency incident can find and use the Park Location ID number to help identify their specific location.

Parks were selected for the pilot based on the following criteria: high volume of calls at the location, the park-terrain and size that may make it difficult for an individual to identify his/her location to 911/311, high use and permitting in the park, and past difficulties in locating incident scenes in areas where there is no street address.

Pilot Project Schedule:
• Park Location Point sign installations: April to May 2015
• Pilot to run until Labour Day 2015
• Pilot assessment and recommendations report to Parks and Environment Committee: fall 2015

High Park is located at 1873 Bloor St. W.
Centennial Park (Etobicoke) is located at 256 Centennial Park Rd.

More information about the pilot project is available here.

Ontario #ON | Avian influenza #H5 confirmed on second poultry farm in #Oxford County

Preliminary testing by the Province of Ontario has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a second farm in Oxford County, Ontario. The farm is a broiler breeder chicken farm.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has placed the farm under quarantine to control disease spread and the poultry industry has been notified to adopt enhanced biosecurity practices. Further testing by the CFIA is underway to confirm pathogenicity and to determine the precise subtype and strain of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds.

Avian influenza does not pose a risk to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans that do not have consistent contact with infected birds. Public health authorities stand ready to take precautionary measures as warranted.

Initial tests for the disease were conducted on April 17, 2015 at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph, after the chicken farm experienced sudden deaths of birds over several days.

All birds on the infected premises will be humanely destroyed and disposed of, in accordance with provincial environmental regulations and internationally accepted disease control guidelines. As lead response agency the CFIA will ensure the quarantine of the infected farm, and determine a surrounding surveillance zone for further testing and movement control measures. The CFIA will also lead on required depopulation of birds, while the Province will provide technical support on required carcass disposal. Once all birds have been removed, the CFIA will oversee the cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment and tools to eliminate any infectious material that may remain.

The Province of Ontario, the CFIA, the owner of the infected birds, and the poultry industry are working closely together to manage the situation. Both levels of government will work with the poultry industry to address issues as they emerge. The Canadian poultry sector currently practices a high level of biosecurity that reduces the risk of disease spread.

#Canada | Public Health Notice – #Outbreak of #Ecoli infections with possible link to leafy greens

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7, commonly called E.coli, with a possible link to leafy greens. A specific product has not been identified yet, and the investigation is ongoing.

At this time, the risk to Canadians is low. However, Canadians are reminded to follow safe food handling practices to avoid illness.

E. coli are bacteria that live naturally in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. Most E. coli are harmless to humans, but some varieties carry genes that allow them to cause illness.

While most people made ill by E. coli experience a few days of upset stomach and then recover fully, infections can sometimes be life threatening.

Ongoing Investigation

There have been 12 cases of E.coli with a matching genetic fingerprint reported in Alberta (9), Saskatchewan (1), Ontario (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). The illness onset dates range from March 13 to March 31, 2015.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to leafy greens has emerged as a possible source of illness. Leafy greens can include all varieties of lettuces and other green leaf vegetables such as kale, spinach, arugula, or chard. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s investigation into the food source is ongoing. If products are identified, the Agency will inform the public and ensure that they are promptly removed from the marketplace.

The Public Health Agency routinely investigates multi-provincial gastro-intestinal illness outbreaks, including E.coli, in an effort to determine if illnesses are linked to the same source. The Agency will update Canadians when new information becomes available.

Who is most at risk?

Although anyone can get an E.coli infection, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, young children and older adults are most at risk for developing serious complications.

What you should do

The following tips will help you reduce your risk of infection with E. coli or other food-borne illnesses:

  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, clean counters and cutting boards and wash your hands regularly.
  • Bacteria can grow in the danger zone between 4 °C and 60 °C (40 °F to 140 °F). Keep cold foods cold at or below 4 °C (40 °F) and keep hot foods hot at or above 60 °C (140 °F).
  • Keep refrigerators clean and at a temperature below 4 °C (40 °F). Install a thermometer in your fridge to be sure.
  • Place raw meat, poultry and seafood in containers on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Use containers that are large enough to prevent raw juices from dripping onto other food or touching other food.
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, storing, preparing and serving foods.
  • Read labels and follow cooking and storage instructions for all food. When buying food, make sure to check the “best before” date, and if the product has expired, let the store know.
  • Use warm soapy water to clean knives, cutting boards, utensils, your hands and any surfaces that have come in contact with food, especially meat and fish.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking.
  • Freeze or consume leftovers within four days of cooking. Always reheat leftovers until steaming hot before eating.

People infected with E.coli can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others feel as though they have a bad case of upset stomach. Still others become seriously ill and must be hospitalized.

The following symptoms can appear within one to ten days after contact with the bacteria:

  • severe stomach cramps
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • headache
  • slight fever

Most symptoms clear up within five to ten days. However, some people who are infected with E.coli develop life-threatening symptoms, including kidney failure, seizures and stroke. While most will recover completely, others may suffer permanent health effects, like kidney damage, and some may die.

There is no real treatment for E.coli infections, other than monitoring the illness, providing comfort, and preventing dehydration through proper hydration and nutrition. People who develop complications may need further treatment, like dialysis for kidney failure. You should contact your health care provider if symptoms persist.

What the Public Health Agency of Canada is doing

The Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with federal and provincial/territorial partners, will continue to monitor for and investigate any new cases of E.coli that may be related to this outbreak as part of its routine surveillance activities.

#USA | Highly pathogenic avian influenza #HPAI #H5N2 cases in #WI #MN #SD #IA #ND #MT #KS #AR #MO #OR #CA #WA #ID

Since December 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths).

The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low.

No human cases of these HPAI H5 viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally.

Poultry Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories Include:

State County Flyway Flock type Species Avian influenza subtype* Confirmation date
WI Barron Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 16, 2015
MN Roseau Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 16, 2015
MN Kandiyoh Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 15, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 15, 2015
MN Otter Tail Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 15, 2015
SD Roberts Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 15, 2015
MN Meeker Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 14, 2015
MN Kandiyohi Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 14, 2015
MN Meeker Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 14, 2015
MN Redwood Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 14, 2015
MN Swift Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 14, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 13, 2015
MN Swift Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 13, 2015
IA Buena Vista Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 13, 2015
MN Le Sueur Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 11, 2015
WI Jefferson Mississippi Commercial Chickens EA/AM-H5N2 April 11, 2015
ND Dickey Central Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 10, 2015
MN Kandiyohi Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 11, 2015
SD McCook Central Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 10, 2015
SD McPherson Central Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 10, 2015
MN Cottonwood Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 9, 2015
MN Lyon Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 9, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 9, 2015
MN Watonwan Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 9, 2015
SD Kingsbury Central Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 8, 2015
MN Meeker Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 7, 2015
MN Kandiyohi Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 7, 2015|
MN Kandiyohi Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 4, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 4, 2015
MT Judith Basin Central Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 April 2, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 2, 2015
SD Beadle Central Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 1, 2015
MN Nobles Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 April 2, 2015
MN Stearns Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 28, 2015
MN Lac Qui Parle Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 27, 2015
KS Leavenworth Central Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 March 13, 2015
AR Boone Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 11, 2015
MO Moniteau Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 10, 2015
MO Jasper Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 9, 2015
MN Pope Mississippi Commercial Turkeys EA/AM-H5N2 March 4, 2015
OR Deschutes Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 February 17, 2015
CA Kings Pacific Commercial Chicken EA-H5N8 February 12, 2015
WA Okanogan Pacific Backyard Chicken EA/AM-H5N2 February 3, 2015
WA Okanogan Pacific Backyard Pheasant EA/AM-H5N2 January 29, 2015
CA Stanislaus Pacific Commercial Turkeys EA-H5N8 January 23, 2015
ID Canyon Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 January 16, 2015
WA Clallam Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 January 16, 2015
WA Benton Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 January 9, 2015
WA Benton Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA/AM-H5N2 January 3, 2015
OR Douglas Pacific Backyard Mixed poultry EA -H5N8 December 19, 2015

Captive Wild Bird Findings Confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories:

State County Species Avian influenza subtype* Confirmation date
MT Flathead Captive gyrfalcon EA/AM-H5N2 March 27, 2015
MO St. Louis Captive falcon (hybrid) EA/AM-H5N2 March 27, 2015
ID Kootenai Captive gyrfalcon (2) EA-H5N8 January 29, 2015
February 6, 2015
ID Canyon Captive falcons,
Great horned owl
EA/AM-H5N2 January 16, 2015
February 2, 2015
WA Whatcom Captive gyrfalcon EA-H5N8 December 14, 2014

Wild Bird Findings confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories are available here.

Surveillance for avian influenza is ongoing in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations.

USDA is coordinating closely with its partners, including Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington State officials, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on avian influenza surveillance, reporting, and control efforts.  The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, where we actively look for the disease and provide 100% compensation to affected producers to encourage reporting.

USDA continues to inform OIE and international trading partners of these findings.  USDA is working with trading partners to minimize trade impacts on poultry and poultry products as much as possible.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, need to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at

USDA emphasizes that poultry, poultry products and wild birds (see biosecurity and wild birds) are safe to eat if they are properly handled and cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Background Information

The H5N8 virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along wild bird migratory pathways during 2014, including the Pacific flyway.  In the Pacific flyway, the H5N8 virus has mixed with North American avian influenza viruses, creating new mixed-origin viruses.  This is not unexpected.  These mixed-origin viruses contain the Asian-origin H5 part of the virus, which is highly pathogenic to poultry.  The N parts of these viruses came from North American low pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

USDA has identified two mixed-origin viruses in the Pacific Flyway: the H5N2 virus and new H5N1 virus.  The new H5N1 virus is  not the same virus as the H5N1 virus found in Asia that has caused some human illness.  CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low.  Detailed analysis of the virus is underway in cooperation with CDC.

Ontario #ON | #Toronto #Paramedic Services annual awards ceremony honours those who stepped up to help save lives


On Thursday April 2, at Toronto Emergency Services Headquarters, Chief Paul Raftis hosted the division’s annual awards ceremony.

Among the more than 50 people recognized for their roles in helping paramedics save lives in Toronto over the past year were 32 residents and several employees of the Toronto Police Service, the City’s Corporate Security and the Toronto Transit Commission.

“I want to thank Toronto Paramedic Services for taking the initiative to host these awards,” said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee.

“These awards not only recognize paramedic, emergency medical dispatch and operations support persons of the year, but also residents and bystanders who make a difference in stepping in to help a paramedic save a life.”

Chief Paul Raftis commented, “Each year, the number of residents and allied service members we recognize increases. This is a testament to the caring people who live in the city who are willing to step in and help a stranger, family member or friend in a medical emergency. It makes me proud to lead this team of dedicated medical professionals – and to also serve the people who live in our community.”

Toronto Paramedic Services employees submit names of residents, bystanders and allied service members to a nomination committee as events occur each year. The submissions are reviewed by a nominating committee for the selection of award recipients. Following is the list of award winners for 2015. A photo gallery will be posted shortly.

Toronto Paramedic Services Awards
Awarded to members of our staff who have gone above and beyond in the performance of thier duties.

John Dean Chief’s Award: Jay Gagne, Kris Staley, John Klich, Ian Beduya
Are recognized for their work on the District Performance Evaluation Tracking “Binder” System. This group developed and implemented a new work-flow process that modified our traditional approach of shift dependent supervision, and to more of a coordinated team approach within each district.

Pioneer of the Year Award: Dave Ralph
Since his retirement Dave has volunteered to represent our service at various public relations events, and has become involved with the Tema Conter Trust which promotes awareness of critical incident stress in emergency and military personnel. He has been a long term scout leader, is a member of the Paramedic Service Awards Review committee and also involved with the Public Hero’s awards through the Intercultural Dialogue Institute.

Paramedic of the Year: Dennis St. Pierre
Dennis has always been positive, caring, and compassionate with his patients and very supportive of new paramedics, helping to guide them as they learn their new career.
Dennis furthered his education to become a critical care paramedic and helped develop this new position with his positive outlook and proactive approach
He always acts as a consummate professional.

Support Persons of the Year: Damon Schreiber & Joey Simoes
Key contributors to many projects that the Division has supported, providing both on-duty and volunteer hours in support of these projects. Their jobs play a valuable role within the Service, documenting the work of the front lines on film and in the electronic world of the web and social media.

The Deputy Chief’s Health and Safety Award: Andrew Kemp & Mt. Sinai Hospital (Dr. Ovens)
This award recognizes individuals who have promoted health and safety awareness and made efforts to eliminate hazards in the workplace.

Merit Award: Maria Alkis
Maria increased staff donations to record levels and in turn brought our service to a top performer position based on percentages city wide for United Way campaign.

Allied Service Awards
Awarded to members of the Allied Services who displayed outstanding assistance to Toronto Paramedic Services.

Douglas Ramsay
Off-duty Simcoe County Paramedic Doug Ramsay noticed a male collapsed on the street. His CPR contributed to saving the man’s life.

Sukhdeep Dhaliwal
TTC Operator Sukhdeep Dhaliwal, was approached at 03:30 in the morning of July 13 by an individual who had suffered numerous stab wounds. Mr. Dhaliwal promptly called for an ambulance and police He then provided support and care until paramedics arrived even though the danger of the attacker being still in the area was possible.

TTC Operator Wayne Ferreira
Citizen Award: Lori McAuley
Lori McAuley noticed a male with no vital signs, she began CPR. At the same time TTC Operator Wayne Ferreira was making his way across Sheppard Avenue, when he noticed a bystander performing CPR on a pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle.

Police Constable Jason Jones
Constable Jones responded to the reports of a one-year-old child not breathing after slipping under the water in a bathtub.
The quick actions of Constable Jones who was nearby in providing care and the advance care delivered by the paramedics when they arrived saved this child’s life.

Jabeen Ratanshi, Chris Currie, Samantha Doty
Security Guard Jabeen Ratanshi witnessed an elderly female collapse in the GO Concourse at Union Station.
With assistance from Security Guard Chris Currie and Samantha Doty they recognized that the patient was vital signs absent and began CPR followed by successful 2 shocks by the defibrillator.

Citizen Awards
To be awarded to a citizen who renders outstanding emergency assistance to Toronto Paramedic Services.

Daniel Bader, Fatma Toufexief
Daniel Bader and Fatma Toufexief came to aid of a woman saving her life.

Ajeev Bhatia, Alexander Pink
While playing basketball, Ajeev Bhatia witnessed his friend Jeremie go into cardiac arrest at a local fitness club. He promptly began CPR and was then assisted by Alex who works at the club.

Marilyn Allicock
On April 28, 2014 Marilyn Allicock came to the assistance of a woman and helped to successfully deliver a baby girl

Bon Nguyen, William MacKay, Charles Luo
Bon Nguyen came across Grant Reynolds who had collapsed at the Central YMCA fitness facility. He promptly called for help and then successfully began CPR.

Terry Jansen
On June 27, 2012, Terry noticed a fire on Bathurst Street, and ran inside the burning building to wake up the residents and get them to safety.

Mina Eglaycus
Mina rushed to a burning vehicle and with risk of serious injury to himself he was able to pull the driver free of the burning car.

Scott Culham
He promptly came to his assistance and began CPR on a cardiac arrest victim.

Sriram Rangan
He rescued an eight-year-old child submerged in a swimming pool.
Simon Casimir (11 yrs old)
His Mom began choking and required an ambulance. Her 11-year-old son Simon recognized the urgency and immediately took over calling for an ambulance. His actions in relaying information to the emergency medical dispatcher and giving clear directions resulted in his mother receiving prompt help.

Mary Lou Fulton, Augusta Waddell
They resuscitated a friend while attending a funeral.

Kyleigh Giroux
Eight-year-old Kyleigh Giroux was faced with the dilemma of how to help her mother who had just fallen off a bike and suffered a serious head injury. Kyleigh was able to recognize the urgency, contact the ambulance service and give detailed directions and information about her mother’s condition.

Katie Watkins, Melissa Hachey, Ben Scholes, Graham Vanderlinde,Kathryn Haggis
This group sprang into action to start CPR and administer a life-saving shock with an AED to a woman at Variety Village

Sydney Crawford, Meagan Sin, Bridget Punch
Lifeguard Sydney Crawford noticed a swimmer in trouble at the Donald Summerville Pool. She entered the water to pull the swimmer out with the assistance of Meagan Sin. Not feeling a pulse, Bridget Punch applied AED and provided CPR. CPR was continued until the patient began to respond, at which time paramedics had arrived and had taken over care. The actions of the lifeguards saved a life that day.

Doug Jamieson, Randy Collins
They resuscitated a13-year-old who had collapsed in cardiac arrest.

Jeremy Kwong, Lora Tanfara
They resuscitated a friend who collapsed in cardiac arrest while playing Pickleball.

Karl Werleman
Karl noticed a male collapsed in his car and went to assist and resuscitate him.

David Goodman
David Goodman, a former Toronto paramedic, was driving home and saw Sandy Laidlaw lying on the sidewalk. He stopped and resuscitated the man.

Media Awards

Tony Smith: Twitter Coverage
Tony captures photographs from the overnight street beat for CBC news.
Hardly a week goes by where Tony has not posted a photo of Toronto paramedics at work around our city and complementing them for their service.

His Twitter site is a chronological history of the night in the life of a Toronto paramedic.

Andrew Palamarchuk: Print Media
Andrew is recognized for his constant coverage of Toronto paramedics at work including their involvement in major incidents or their care of patients. He regularly writes about events happening at Toronto Paramedic Services and the staff who work here.

Valour Awards
To be awarded in recognition of performance above and beyond the call of duty as evidenced by an act of bravery.

Ric Rangel-Bron
While in France with a group of Air Cadets, Ric Rangel-Bron came across a farm house with a chimney fire and the house starting to fill with smoke. He approached the residence and soon learned that there were still people inside. Without concern for his own well being, he promptly entered the residence and assisted evacuating 3 people and the family pets before the fire spread beyond the chimney and roof.

Bill Ingram, Spencer Devecseri, Angelo Nero
They heard someone screaming for help and heard objects being smashed inside.
They entered the house and found their patient attacking a family member. They intervened, and restrained the patient until police assistance arrived. The patient was treated and transported to hospital. Their actions prevented serious injury occurring to the family member with risk to themselves.

Emmanuel Monssen
On August 23, 2014, Emmanuel Monssen and his partner responded to a report of a hydro worker electrocuted and hanging unconscious from a harness a distance from the ground. Upon arrival, Emmanuel realized that this patient’s breathing was compromised and needed rapid life saving intervention.
With no concern about his own safety, he promptly climbed a ladder which was leaning up against a transformer in order to reach this individual and establish a clear airway. Along with a hydro worker he was able to stabilize the patient until he could be safely lowered to other paramedics.

Greg Mercer, David Pattinson
They chased after a patient onto Highway 27 where the patient was dodging passing cars in an attempt to prevent cars from hitting him, and brought him back into the hospital. Upon arrival of police, this large individual began fighting them, tossing the police around as they tried to restrain him. Both Greg and David assisted in bringing this person under control.