When should you call 911? (Submitted/ Medavie Health Services West)

When should you call 911? (Submitted/ Medavie Health Services West)

Take time to thank your local emergency responder this week

Paramedic Services Week takes place May 22 to May 28 this year.

In the past few years, first responders have dealt with more than ever before. This includes changing how they respond to calls. During the COVID-19 pandemic paramedics have had to completely alter the way they do emergency calls including having on full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before they can enter a home.

“We are extremely proud of the work they do day in day out, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It’s an extremely rewarding profession but it does come with a price,” Troy Davies, Director of Public Affairs with Medavie Health Services West, (which serves the Wetaskiwin area), says about their paramedics.

“The past two years of the COVID pandemic have taken stress levels to a higher level with our paramedics and their families.”

Davies says that even with the increased stress levels and the impact of a worldwide pandemic, paramedics show up every day and continue to serve their communities when called on.

“Paramedic Services Week is a chance for communities to say thank you to these unsung heroes, they won’t ask for a pat on the back but they definitely deserve it,” says Davies.

Deputy Fire Chief with the Millet Fire Department, Trevor Palmer, echoes Davies’ statement that being a first responder in todays’ society is more taxing than ever, especially given the dire need for paramedics amid Alberta’s over-capacity EMS response system.

Palmer states that partnerships between communities with Alberta’s EMS providers are vital to the safety of the public.

“We know that paramedics deal with citizens in their very worst moments, but far too often they don’t even get a simple “thank you” because it’s easy to overlook the tasks they perform in emergencies,” says Palmer.

“We know the impact their profession has on both the body and the mind, so we stand with EMS today and every day, and look forward to assisting EMS in their essential work for years to come.”