National Paramedic Services Week kicks off in Sudbury

From May 22-28, Canada is marking Paramedic Services Week. This year's theme is 'Faces of Paramedicine,' which focuses on the diverse and evolving range of specialties in the profession.

The week is all about recognizing the contributions paramedics provide within the community.

“When you’re in a car accident or having a medical crisis in your home, your first call is 911,” said Joseph Nicholls, Greater Sudbury's chief of fire and paramedic services.

“So it’s these paramedics that are going to be the face of the health care system. That’s your first introduction and they’re going to be making the decisions and making sure you have that care you require.”

Fifteen recruits have joined the local paramedic services here, including Nick Cuomo. He graduated from the paramedic program at Cambrian College and has now been a part of the Sudbury Paramedic Services for just more than a month.

“Sudbury is a city that has a very diverse community and a lot of people with different illnesses and activities they partake in that can cause injuries and so it gives us a lot of challenges and different things to use our skillset on," Cuomo said.

"It’s always changing and evolving … I’m excited to see where it moves in the future.”

Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said it’s vital to recognize the work that has been done throughout the pandemic surrounding the Community Paramedicine Program.

“Over 12,000 residents have been tested by paramedics, over 800 residents in long-term care and senior homes were vaccinated in the initial stages," Bigger said.

"So they’ve been really supporting the community from behind the scenes and from the front lines throughout the last two years."

National Paramedic Services Week wraps up Saturday.