21 Nova Scotia paramedics awarded for providing care at personal risk

Nova Scotia says 21 paramedics have been awarded the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal “for their dedication to the health and safety of all Nova Scotians.”

The award is given to paramedics who have been able to provide quality care to Nova Scotians in times of need, sometimes at their personal risk, the province said in a release.

The paramedics who received the medals include:

  • Francine Butts, Chaswood, HRM
  • Colleen Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Kevin Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Charles Charmichael, Georges River, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
  • Joseph Gallant, New Germany, Lunenburg Co.
  • Ryan Grist, Dayspring, Lunenburg Co.
  • Rhonda Helpard, Steep Creek, Guysborough Co.
  • Angela Hickox, Truro
  • Greg MacKinnon, Kentville
  • Angie Matheson, Port Hastings, Inverness Co.
  • John Mosher, Kentville
  • Christopher Nordland, Dartmouth
  • Donna Reid, Hammonds Plains
  • Peter Rose, Dartmouth
  • Shane Strong, Saint-Anne-Du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth Co.
  • Sean Teed, Glen Haven, HRM
  • Matthew Vaughan, Westville, Pictou Co.
  • Mark Walker, Hammonds Plains
  • Jim Wells, Brookside, HRM
  • Kelsey Wells, Brookside, HRM

John Rossiter was also among those awarded the medal. He died in September 2003 while responding to an emergency call during hurricane Juan in Halifax.

The 31-year-old paramedic from Newfoundland was in an ambulance when a tree blew over and killed him.

According to the release, professionals with 10 years of work in emergency medical services involving potential risk can be nominated by their peers and the public.

The award was created in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II and is now a national recognition program for Canadians who work in high-risk jobs in public safety. 

One of the recipients, Francine Butts, says paramedicine was her path in supporting the needs of the community.

“Throughout my 23-year career, I have met some of the strongest and bravest people — our patients and their families. As a paramedic, you can share in life’s most precious and unfair moments all in the same day with people you just met,” she said in the release. “It certainly takes a special person to be able to do this line of work.”

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