Warden Maudsley recognized five Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services Authority paramedics who were honoured in Ottawa, at the Annual Awards Gala on September 27, 2012.
The following paramedics received The EMS Exemplary Service Medal:
• Frank Labodi
• Kevin Mackay
• Paul VanDyk
The Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal was created in 1994 by the late Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, as a component of the Canadian Honours System. The Award is more than a long service medal, but rather an exemplary service award presented to those eligible members of the pre-hospital emergency medical service who have served for at least twenty years in a meritorious manner, characterized by the highest standards of good conduct, industry and efficiency. To qualify, at least ten of these years of service must have been street level duty involving potential risk to the individual. Nominees must have been employees on or after October 31st, 1991, but may now be active, retired or deceased. Since the Award’s inception, there have been approximately 1,250 Ontario recipients of the Medal.
Two other medics were recognized for the N.H. McNally Award, for an act of bravery during a call:
• Maite Browning
• Tyler Austin
The N.H McNally Award was established in 1976 in honour of Dr. Norman McNally, the father of Ontario’s ambulance system. Dr. McNally was hired by the provincial government in 1966 to oversee “the development throughout Ontario of a balanced and integrated system of ambulance services…” Under his tutelage, the first standardized ambulance training program was established at Base Borden in 1967, with the first true paramedic program conducted at Queen’s University in Kingston, shortly thereafter.
This dramatically improved staff training, the development of a standardized ambulance design, consistent patient care equipment, as well as an integrated provincial ambulance radio network, were his legacy.
The Award in his name recognizes acts of conspicuous bravery by pre-hospital professionals in the performance of their duties, and has a rich history of acknowledging paramedics who have risked their lives to rescue or protect others from harm. It is only presented when richly deserved.
On September 27th, 2012 Tyler Austin and Maite Browning were recognized as well as twelve EMS professionals for their actions in seven separate incidents.
On the evening of May 8, 2012, Middlesex-London paramedics Tyler Austin and Maite Browning were dispatched to a residence for a patient with behavioural problems. The patient had apparently tried to injure a relative and the crew was cautioned not to enter until Police arrived.
Upon arrival, the crew staged in the building as Police had not yet arrived, having been rerouted to a higher priority call. They were met by the patient’s relative who urged them to help the patient who was having an emotional breakdown. They advised the relative they would not enter the apartment until Police arrived due to the history of violence, and asked the relative to go into the unit and bring the patient to them. The relative agreed but soon returned yelling that patient was about to jump off the balcony.
The crew decided to enter the apartment without police support and found the patient hanging from the third floor balcony railing.
The crew members each grabbed an arm just as the patient was letting go. A 1-2 minute struggle ensued with the patient yelling “Let me fall, let me go”, before the paramedics were able to bring her back over the railing and remove her from the residence. Police arrived shortly thereafter and helped escort the patient to hospital.