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National Paramedic Services week celebrates real life heroes

A paramedic unloads a stretcher from an ambulance at Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Each year, more than 5,600 paramedics and EMS professionals put themselves in harm’s way responding to almost a half a million emergency calls, according to Alberta Health Services (AHS).

Sunday marks Paramedic Services week with this year’s theme being Paramedic as Educator: Citizen Ready. Over the next five days, the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada will have daily themes surrounding educational resources.

Those themes include:

  • Monday – Activation of 911
  • Tuesday – Control the Bleeding
  • Wednesday – High Performance CPR
  • Thursday – Opioid Overdoses
  • Friday – Emergency Preparedness (the first 72 hours)
  • Saturday – Paramedic Services Recognition Day


Specifically in the Calgary zone, AHS says they respond to more than 160,000 calls every year.

“I join all Albertans in thanking our paramedic heroes for the critical work they do across the province every day, no matter the time of day or night,” Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said in an emailed release.

“As front-line health-care providers, paramedics play a key role in Alberta’s pandemic response. Paramedics are providing testing and vaccinations while continuing to deliver essential care to Albertans, at a time of unprecedented risk to themselves and their families.”

National Paramedic Monument gets green light

Earlier in the week, the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Foundation (CPMF) announced they received approval from Canadian Heritage to erect a National Paramedic Monument — honouring Canada’s fallen paramedics.

“We are excited to see our proposal approved and can now focus on the next steps to see a Canadian commemorative Paramedic Monument in our nation’s capital become a reality,” said CPMF president Tom Zajac.

The organization will now work with Canadian Heritage and the National Capital Commission to go through the visioning, site selection, design competition and construction of the monument. The statue’s estimated cost is around $5 million, which the CPMF hopes to raise through donations, grants and sponsorships.

with files from Devon Banfield