COMMENTARY: SD&G paramedics deserve recognition

A paramedic talks to firefighters at the scene of a car crash on Nov. 7. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. When we hear of emergency service workers, most of the time, it’s firefighters and police that get most of the attention. But I want to balance that out by talking about our SD&G paramedics and how important they are as a first line to injured people. I’m talking from first-hand experience after having a back seizure on the weekend where I found myself helpless on the floor and having to dial 911. Too often these men and women amount to one line in a news story…“the victim was taken to hospital by paramedics.” These dedicated emergency workers are faced with hundreds of situations like mine every day. They also face difficult obstacles depending on where their victims are located. Imagine trying to carry a 300 pound man over a banister and down a flight of stairs on a stretcher or trying to get someone who has fallen down and is immobile in a tiny bathroom. Due to patient confidentiality rules, too often we don’t hear about their triumphs of saving a person near death or the challenges and obstacles they’ve overcome. When I look back at my experience, I would have to say I spent more one-on-one time with the paramedics – in this case Leighton Woods, James Doherty and a St. Lawrence College student – than I did with the nurses and doctors at the hospital. Woods and Doherty were calm, methodical and thorough as well as lighthearted in keeping my spirits up despite all the pain I was in. After this experience I have a better appreciation for paramedics. The team in Cornwall should be commended for their great work.

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