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.
Off-duty Simcoe County Paramedic Doug Ramsay noticed a male collapsed on the street. His CPR contributed to saving the man’s life.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
He promptly came to his assistance and began CPR on a cardiac arrest victim.
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.
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 noticed a male collapsed in his car and went to assist and resuscitate him.
David Goodman, a former Toronto paramedic, was driving home and saw Sandy Laidlaw lying on the sidewalk. He stopped and resuscitated the man.
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.
To be awarded in recognition of performance above and beyond the call of duty as evidenced by an act of bravery.
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.
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.