May 24-30 marks Paramedic Services Week, centred around the theme ‘Pandemic: Paramedics on the Front Line’. This week, we celebrate, acknowledge, and express our gratitude for paramedics and the teams that support them who have been showing immense dedication and bravery at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the onset of this crisis, paramedics have been risking their lives, often running into the potential threat of COVID-19, to save the lives of others. Even in non-pandemic times, paramedics and the ambulance communications officers who answer the emergency calls and send help are our heroes who we can depend on every day. These workers bring comfort to Canadians in our greatest times of need. We are in awe of their professionalism and courage.
During the pandemic, paramedics have made adjustments to their daily procedures, including heightening their usual screening and sanitization precautions and using personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure safety. What is less often discussed are the personal sacrifices they’ve made, such as isolating themselves from their loved ones to keep them safe. During this mentally and emotionally taxing time, we can understand what a tremendous sacrifice this is.
We deeply appreciate the commitment of our paramedics and the professionals in our emergency call centres. The response of our ambulance communications officers and paramedic teams – the first points of contact in our health care system – has been nothing short of impressive. Your strength of character and steadiness during this time is inspiring to us all. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. We will always stand with you.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer