PAC eNews
Aug. 14, 2014

Operational stress injury in paramedic services: A briefing to the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada
Paramedic Chiefs of Canada
Across Canada, paramedic services are working to understand how operational stress is affecting our paramedics and dispatchers in order to inform effective strategies that target psychological health in the workplace. There is no all-encompassing off-the-shelf solution for prevention or mitigation of operational stress; but, through our investigation we see that there are key components that look very promising for an overall approach to addressing operational stress and injury in our services.More

PAC 2014 Annual General Meeting
The Paramedic Association of Canada Annual General Meeting will be held on November 23, 2014 in Winnipeg, MB.

Agenda items include:

• Liability Insurance for Paramedics
• NOCP Renewal Project Update
• National Continuing Education Seminar
• Introduction of New Chapters

Plan now to attend the AGM in Winnipeg!More

Career opportunity: Executive Director, Dispatch Operations Organization, B.C. Ambulance Service, Vancouver, B.C.
We are seeking to appoint a seasoned leader from a broad industry spectrum — health care; public or business administration; or emergency management. The Executive Director, Dispatch Operations is responsible for supporting the delivery of the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic direction of B.C. Emergency Health Services, which includes the B.C. Ambulance Service.More

Band councillor dies after 1-hour B.C. ambulance delay
CBC News
A northern B.C. band councillor, in the remote community of Haida Gwaii, is dead after a heart attack recently and his doctor is criticizing the hour it took for his ambulance to arrive. In a two-page letter, Dr. Tracy Morton details the call he overheard being dispatched to the home of Skidegate, B.C. band councillor, Godfrey Williams Jr.More

2 Field Ambulance receives special privilege
Pembroke Daily Observer
Marching to the beat of drums and bagpipes, 2 Field Ambulance arrived at the town hall recently to receive a prestigious honour. As the centrepiece of their 100th anniversary, the medical unit officially received the Freedom of the Town in a ceremony whose origins date back to Roman times — the freedom that allows a military contingent march into a city or community with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.More

Paramedic celebrates 25 years
Terrace Standard
Cheryl Spencer just celebrated her silver anniversary with the British Columbia Ambulance Service last month. "It does feel long," she said with a laugh. But despite the quarter century spent serving and healing the community of Terrace, Spencer shows no sign of slowing down yet. More

Toronto EMS to get a makeover
City News
Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be getting a makeover, including a name change. Paramedics are essential — and when your life is on the line, you're glad they're there. But who exactly are they? For years now, maybe even decades, there's always been an identity crisis with EMS first responders. Are they ambulance drivers, paramedics, or EMS professionals? More

Editorial comment: Paramedic mental health, operational stress injury and PTSD
Recently, the media has reported 14 paramedic suicides over the past year. This is the number we know. The sheer size of the number should be a wake-up call for the profession. We have a problem. I encourage you to read Dr. Justin Maloney's commentary. We need to have the dialogue; and, we need to search and find solutions.More

'They were lucky' — paramedics talk about helping family struck by lightning
Global News
The paramedics who helped save a family who was hit by lighting in a recent storm say the victims are lucky to be alive. "They were lucky. We were lucky. It was a good outcome. There are many cases where it's not," said paramedic Alan Williams. Williams and his partner, Lindsey Inwood, were the first ones to arrive. They had to work under a severe storm to help the victims. In fact, while emergency officials were on the scene, another bolt of lightning hit just metres away.More

Identifying barriers and facilitators to ambulance service assessment and treatment of acute asthma: A focus group study
BMC Emergency Medicine
Acute asthma is a common reason for patients to seek care from ambulance services. Although better care of acute asthma can prevent avoidable morbidity and deaths, there has been little research into ambulance clinicians' adherence to national guidelines for asthma assessment and management and how this might be improved. Our research aim was to explore paramedics' attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about pre-hospital management of asthma, to identify barriers and facilitators to guideline adherence.More

Community paramedics: A scoping review of their emergence and potential impact
International Paramedic Practice
This paper reports on the extent of the peer-reviewed literature relating to community paramedics since the inaugural meeting of the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine in 2005. A scoping review was undertaken to: examine the extent, range and nature of research activity; determine the value of undertaking a full systematic review; summarize and disseminate research findings; and identify research gaps in the existing literature.More

Details for new emergency ATV and fire truck finally realized
Humboldt Journal
The Humboldt Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Humboldt RCMP have finally settled the details of the their new side by side all terrain vehicle. "It gives us more accessibility," said Humboldt Fire Chief, Mike Kwasnica. "With all our trucks getting larger and EMS vehicles getting larger, everything getting wetter, we were limited to where we could go and how we could get there."More

York Region paramedic David Whitley shares his struggle with PTSD
Toronto Star
With lights flashing and sirens wailing, paramedic David Whitley pressed on the gas pedal, hurtling toward the hospital. In the back of the ambulance, his partner and a firefighter were tending to an elderly woman who was gasping for breath, her heart failing. Next to Whitley was the patient's inconsolable daughter, who had made the emergency call and had come aboard to translate for her mother, who didn't speak English. More

Ambulance bosses traded jobs
Waterloo Region record
Talk about a small world. Former regional ambulance chief John Prno departed in March 2013 when a scathing report tore into local paramedics. Where did he land? He replaced the man who came here to replace him. Yes, you heard that right. Stephen Van Valkenburg and John Prno traded jobs. More

York Region paramedics love their demanding, high-stress jobs
Jason Baertschi does not recall how he ended up in front of a car last month. Perhaps, the idyllic East Gwillimbury summer day prompted respite from vigilance while the teenager walked to his summer job. He does remember being clipped, thrown to the pavement and staying down, frozen in pain and shock. More

Duke of Cambridge to become air ambulance pilot next year
The Telegraph
The Duke of Cambridge is to postpone full-time Royal duties to become an air ambulance pilot next year, donating his salary to charity. Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duke will begin training next month to gain a civilian pilot licence to complement his military training. He will join East Anglian Air Ambulance, initially as a co-pilot, at Cambridge and Norwich airports in the spring of 2015. He has agreed to carry out the role for a minimum of two years. More