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Mississauga Train Derailment November 10th. 1979

On the afternoon of November 10th, 1979, a Canadian Pacific freight train departed Chatham Ontario with 106 cars, which included several tanker cars carrying volatile and flammable materials including propane, toluene, and styrene. There was also one tanker car filled with liquid chlorine. All the tanker cars were in the same section of the train, so they could be easily separated from the train once it reached its destination. As the train proceeded to Toronto the wheels and axle on … Read More

New Concepts In Human Resilience

It was a dark and rainy night. The police cruiser glided into the alley like a shark onto a reef, searching for its unsuspecting prey. The ‘prey’ was concealed about half way down the alley behind a large dumpster. Engine off, windows rolled up so that their breath wouldn’t be seen on this cold winter night. All of a sudden; a flash of light, blinding in its intensity, illuminated the prey freezing them for a moment in time. Heart rates … Read More

Oligoanalgesia and the Paramedic

In part I of this 2-part article we focused on the paramedic’s perception of pain and the assessment of pain. Part II will examine the Theory of Planned Behaviour of paramedics, which Weber et al., (2012) used to identify influencing factors with respect to the administration of analgesia; specifically morphine [1 p. 1393]. Secondly, the article aims to highlight the tools of the trade available to paramedics in treating pain and the possible existence of a misunderstanding of how these … Read More

Paramedicine: A retrospective account

As I write this entry, I find myself sitting on the edge of a valley so deep that I cannot see the bottom, and above me the dramatic Himalayan peaks are slowly being obscured by afternoon clouds. I am in Nepal, which is one of the most mountainous regions on earth, and my role as a humanitarian health assistant has taken me further from the traditional role of paramedic than I ever considered. Beneath the ridgeline that I have climbed … Read More

Supporting paramedic mental health and resiliency at BC Emergency Health Services

BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) provides out-of-hospital emergency care, community paramedicine patient support, and inter-facility transfer in British Columbia, and is the largest emergency medical service in Canada. On any given day, paramedics, emergency medical call-takers and dispatchers can be exposed to abnormal, shocking critical incidents or traumatic events while on the job, leaving them exposed to critical incident stress. Occupational stress injuries have become high profile concerns for emergency medical service organizations, including BCEHS. Those affected feel overwhelmed and … Read More

The Burden of Proof

People who suffer with mental illness or injury bear the burden of illness. Mental illness/injury does not just impact the lives of those afflicted. It creates significant costs (seen and unseen) to those who love them, work with them and those who lead them. Research is necessary to begin to untangle the knots in our understanding of what’s going and what we should do about it. There is much at stake. All the more reason to get it right, right? … Read More

Recommendations for a resilient workforce: How to foster a reflective practice as a resiliency strategy

Introduction In an individual’s academic career, there are several milestones that provide a profound feeling of accomplishment. Finishing one’s major post graduate research project is one of them. Over the past year, I have been afforded the opportunity to present my works-in-progress in Canadian Paramedicine, and it is with great appreciation I can now present some of the recommendations resulting from my research on paramedic resiliency to stress. To say stressful events are inherent in the role of a paramedic … Read More

Who are we? How we think about being a paramedic can influence our well-being

A wide range of factors have been identified as working positively or negatively to influence the health and wellness of paramedics, especially in terms of their mental health (1, 2). While there has been needed conversation about stress and posttraumatic stress, there has been less discussion about the impact of an individual’s sense of identity on their mental well-being. When we say “identity,” we mean how someone thinks about themselves in their role (e.g., working as a paramedic). This sense … Read More

DJ2020 – Editorial

Welcome to the December/January issue of Canadian Paramedicine. Along with our regular features and general content articles, this issue contains special articles on paramedic mental wellness and resiliency. This is an important topic for everyone in the profession and we will publish more articles on it in future issues. I recently received a good e-mail from Steven George, one of the magazine’s international readers, who asked about the possibility of delivering the e-version of the magazine via an app in … Read More