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Association News – AM2021

With the evolution of paramedicine as a field of practice, we have seen in its growth, the rise of impassioned women into many roles. Educators, advocates, champions and leaders; women are shaping the present and the future of the profession in ways that elevate it to its highest level. The Ontario Paramedic Association is proud to showcase the incredible women who volunteer their time on the BOD and Wellness Committee, advocating for advances that improve and strengthen the profession and … Read More

Shifting the Paradigm for Systems Thinking in Pre-hospital Care

BY ANGELINE ABELA Several authors are credited with founding contributions to the field of systems thinking (ST) and systems dynamics, however, it is Barry Richmond who is credited with first devising the term ‘systems thinking’.1  Richmond used the label to describe the need to consider how different components impact and influence each other within what he saw as increasingly complex and interconnected systems.  Since then there have been attempts made to accurately define what is meant by ST.  In 2015, … Read More

Interprofessional Reflections: Pandemic Duty to Care

BY LINDSEY BOECHLER, NATASHA HUBBARD MURDOCH, HEATHER NELSON The social contract or the ‘duty to care’ is variably addressed in health professional programs. Students and practitioners may describe a deeply rooted duty to serve embedded within their internal ethical value system. This arises from a sense of a calling, an obligation to family, history or community, or a commitment to upholding the relationship between healthcare professionals and society. The Covid-19 pandemic has publicized ethical discussions within and between professionals; changing … Read More


BY HEATHER COOK In 2016, author Glennon Doyle narrated a short film that illustrated how centuries old building techniques were used to sustain the strong supports that hold up greater structures after – or before – they have become weakened by heavy loads. The carpenter must connect a board to the left and right to strengthen the joist so it can continue to manage the load, together.  The term for this is Sistering. (1)  Women in Paramedicine While women tend … Read More

Reintegration: A new dawn, a new day

Photo Credit: Scott Ryan, 2020 BY Rhea BELL When many first responders close their eyes they can hear the sound of a radio crackling, see the bright lights of the truck, and even imagine the high pitched wail of the siren. For many, these sights and sounds are a routine part of the job, while for others, it can be a psychological trigger causing a harmful emotional reaction. This trauma and accompanying emotions may result in members taking time away … Read More

A “Paramedic-Athlete” Model for Improving Mental Wellness and Resilience in Canadian Paramedicine

BY ALYSSA KOHL AND AMAN HUSSAIN Like athletes, paramedics are required to perform at their best, regardless of the circumstances. In a sense, they are always expected to be ready to utilize their knowledge and skills at a moment’s notice. Collectively, paramedics (and other First Responders) face heavy work demands which often involve routine and/or prolonged exposure to various physical and psychological stressors.1,2 Unlike athletes, however, some of this routine work could often involve traumatic stressors, such as having to … Read More

Stronger Together

BY BRITTANY SHAW When undertaking my paramedic degree, I can vividly remember my first lecture. Our lecturer stood in front of the class and started explaining the journey we were about to embark on. He told us about the challenges we would face and described the highs the job can bring. We sat wide eyed, as he finished the lecture with a simple sentence. “Start here, go anywhere”. Now at the time I thought he meant maybe a station assignment … Read More

My Life as a Disabled Paramedic

BY TORI CUTHBERTSON This story is meant to bring awareness and a shift in thinking towards individuals with chronic illness/disabilities encountered by persons working within a paramedic service, not to shame, assign blame, or disrespect anyone. I do not assert that all paramedics have the bias or devaluing belief. Service Dogs (SD) are increasingly recognized as an effective tool for managing many chronic conditions including mobility, diabetes, seizure alert, autism and more. The most common associated image of working dogs … Read More

The Women of the North

BY JENNIE HELMER In this article, we are celebrating four female paramedic stories, the Women of the North: the first female Director to lead the Northern Region, a Rural Advanced Care Community (RACCP) blazing trails while also playing the trumpet, a Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) who moonlights as a rad mountain biker and a Community Paramedic (CP) with a passion for giving back. All of them eagerly embrace their work in Northern BC, where resources are scarce, the independence extreme … Read More

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