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Medical personnel celebrated with special events next week


Simcoe County will be celebrating its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week to commemorate the front-line medical personnel starting on May 15 and running to May 21.

The Simcoe County Paramedic Association (SCPA) has organized a number of events planned to raise awareness to public safety, but also honour the first response teams that provide immediate and life-saving medical support to local residents.

"(EMS Week's meant) to highlight the roles that paramedics play in our communities," said paramedic supervisor Craig Williams.

The main event will be held on May 15, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with a number of emergency vehicles on display including an ambulance, rapid response vehicle, mobile command unit and emergency support trailers.

"The idea will be that the public can come out and take a look at the emergency vehicles, as well as have the opportunity to talk to a paramedic about what they do for a living," said Williams.

On average, Simcoe County's paramedics respond to 40,000 emergency calls each year, while finding time in between to run more than 100 community and charity events.

Three Simcoe County paramedics were recently recognized with the Champion for Children Award for their involvement with last years annual toy drive, which brought in $8,600, 4,600 recycled toys and 850 pounds of food.

"We've been recognized by our council for doing stuff like that," Williams said. "But that's the first time we've been recognized by an external agency. And the fact that it's a children's agency is especially important."

In the past, EMS Week has been held at Georgian Mall. This year, the paramedics, along with their emergency vehicles, will be located on the city's waterfront.

"We just thought, we want to get more vehicles there for people to look at, we may as well try it outside and see what happens," Williams said. "Pending the weather, we're hoping to have a couple hundred people here if it all works out."

Todd McEwen is the Examiner's intern from Durham College

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