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Voices Of Change: Impressions From The Profession

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By: Teresa Coulter, Aimee Astick, Adrienne Renton

“Olivia” by Teresa Coulter

Olivia
Olivia

My current project, “Olivia” is an oil painting on canvas representing 5 female figures. Olivia is the subject who I collaborated with for this painting. It is a reminder of the many roles we step in to. From pulling our hair up to jump into action, to getting down on the ground to hold c-spine. Paying honour, and respect, to our comrade and their family at all times, handing a cap or flag to a loved one at a funeral, to raising a Saber at a celebration, As I observed Olivia hold positions in the uniform, they were well-defined development of embodied experiences. Fearlessness while she wore the blue threads. The shift into the delicate dress I observed was where the true beauty emerged. Vulnerability, softness, unease. Standing in her own feminine strength was not as poised. The painting opened up more questions than revealing answers for me. All while expanding my gratitude for the sacrifices made by those Women in Paramedicine before me, forging a way to prove our place in the blue threads of emergency services. It is a great honour to stand in yet another role, as a mentor to invite more women into paramedicine, to encourage, support and celebrate our achievements. We have immense power when we find the courage to collaborate.

“Rose, Star of Life” by Aimee Astick

Rose, Star of Life
Rose, Star of Life

One of my earliest memories was the feeling of excitement of watching an ambulance drive by with the lights and sirens on. I have always known this was the profession I wanted to be in. Growing up I always found happiness in doing things for others, which pushed me even more in the direction of Emergency Services. Along with my passion for EMS, I also have a passion for art. I began drawing 6 years ago as a way to cope with mental illness. Drawing helps me relax and de-stress. In this drawing, the rose symbolizes being broken or unhealthy then becoming healed through the words or actions from the paramedic community and the change we can make. Creating the rose to be healthy and strong with the star of life.

“Palms on Glass” by Adrienne Renton

The creative process can feel counter intuitive for someone used to protocol or structure. At least for me, it is a process of letting go, allowing space for things to just happen. Usually, I start with a concept or feeling. In the case of this piece, I began with the idea of yelling underwater. If you’ve ever tried this, you’d know that it takes a lot of energy to make much sound, it’s easy to choke, and it’s usually easiest to just hold your breath. I wanted to capture the feeling of being suspended and isolated. Being underwater is not the human realm and represents discomfort we can experience when isolated and ‘out of our element.’

Palms on Glass
Palms on Glass

The woman in the picture appeared as I drew. After I blocked out the rough outline of her body, her hair took shape, then her face. She intrigues me; she seems calm despite her environment, including the ominous darkness beneath her. I don’t know if she’s ascending to the surface, trying to speak, or breathing her last breath. What the heck is she up to? It’s up to you to figure that out. The colourful light at the surface brings hope and optimism. Also, exposed palms are a gesture of connection, which takes vulnerability. When we have enough courage to conquer fear and appeal to the humanity in each other, then our voices will truly be heard.

Teresa Coulter

Teresa Coulter

Canadian emerging Artist, Teresa Coulter lives in Calgary Alberta Canada. She is known for her Abstract Expressionism. “Creativity is a safe place to explore, invite and observe our internal and external experiences.” Teresa has been awarded several awards such as: The ATB financial Healing Through the Arts Award in 2017, Hometown Hero Award, Public Service Award through TEMA, Certificate of Exemplary Recognition Award through AHSEMS.
Teresa’s art raised awareness of Mental Health well beyond her Art studio, and first-responder network. She is honored to have participated in and collaborated with: Calgary Police Services, Legacy Place Society, The Other Side of the Hero documentary; the #nowimstronger 60-day campaign with Canadian Mental Health; White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman; and Uptalk podcast with Sean Conohan, Your Creative Push with Youngman Brown. Articles of her work have been published and can be seen in: Global News, Challenger Magazine, Link magazine, and Live up Magazine.
Since 2000, Teresa Coulter has been a Practicing Primary Care Paramedic and continues to work at building resilience in the First Responder community. “Art remains a strong contender of how we share our thoughts and ideas, creating a place to share without judgment. I have no grand illusions that art will create a revolution in the traditional sense, but I have witnessed the powerful changes it can make for an individual. Just one new idea can change a person’s perspective. The world may not change in an instant, by art, but there is a connection one can experience when words are not able to explain the often confusing language of emotions. Connect to your passion and use it as your action for change.” Find Teresa at www.Teresacoulter.com or Instagram Teresa_Coulter

Aimee Astick, PCP

Aimee Astick, PCP

Aimee began her career in 2017 after finishing Primary Care Paramedic school in Regina, SK. From there she took her first full time position with Canora Ambulance, posted in Preeceville, SK for 2 years. After wanting a change and to be closer to my immediate family, she started a new journey with Moose Jaw and District EMS in August of 2019. In the future she has plans to go back to school to become an Advanced Care Paramedic as this job is what she has wanted to do her entire life.

Adrienne Renton

Adrienne Renton

Adrienne is a strong advocate for connection through creativity. She has worked in EMS as a Primary Care Paramedic in Alberta and shared interesting conversations with colleagues about the power of creative expression. She noticed that the modality varied individually. “Everyone has something they express originally,” she says: humour, photography, sewing, music, writing, dance, etcetera. Adrienne encourages the full gamut. As a mother of two small children, her next personal project is to write and illustrate a children’s book. Adrienne challenges herself as an artist to expand her skills and pursue projects that enrich the world.
arenton@me.com

Women in Paramedicine

Women in Paramedicine

Women in Paramedicine is compromised of dozens of women in the paramedical field across Canada. Since 2019, they have been sharing their research, point of view, thoughts, and strength to Canadian Paramedicine through their voice and words.

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