They’re the ones we call when we need medical help immediately, on the spot. And they’re being celebrated during Paramedic Services Week 2016, which runs from May 22 to 28.

Paramedics are a vital member of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team. There are three levels of paramedics: Primary Care Paramedics, Intermediate Care Paramedics and Advanced Care Paramedics.  With every patient interaction, each level is dependent on one another and includes a thorough patient assessment, as well as the delivery of medication and treatment to ensure quality patient care.

Paramedic Services Week: May 22-28, 2016

Patients, family members and bystanders are also part of the EMS team. Paramedics rely on everyone, not just their colleagues, to do their part in recognizing when a patient requires an ambulance and in calling 911 quickly. Being able to, provide paramedics with a patient’s medical history, medications and health cards during the patient’s time of need can immensely assist paramedics.

Other important members of the EMS team include 911 Call Centres and EMS Dispatchers. Good communication is essential to ensuring that patients are safe and able to start receiving treatment prior to the arrival of paramedics. Paramedics rely on communications staff for the proper location of a patient, accurate information about the patient’s condition and reassurance that the ambulance crew responding will be safe.

Physicians and nurses are also major players on the EMS team. The job of paramedics does not always end at the door to the hospital. Communication, which includes sharing information about the patient’s assessment and treatment, between emergency department doctors, nurses and paramedics is imperative to delivering quality and safe patient care.

Other major players on the EMS team include the police, fire departments and rural first responders, all of which paramedics depend on when time is critical. These members of the team ensure that the scene of the incident is safe for all personnel involved. They also provide extrication services and other assistance as required to ensure the best out-of-hospital care for the people served.

Air Transport is also a partner in EMS. Organizations like Saskatchewan Air Ambulance and STARS are often involved in ensuring the continuum of care for patients who require transport to receive immediate, specialized care.

Last but not least, the EMS team includes Saskatoon Health Region and Saskatchewan College of Paramedics, both of which ensure that all paramedics are well educated and able to deliver the highest level of care possible through pre-planning and quality assurance.

Events to celebrate paramedic services week in Saskatoon Health Region include:

  • MD Ambulance in Saskatoon: On May 25, MD Ambulance crews will be on site at Crestline at a barbecue for all EMS staff in Saskatoon and surrounding area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On May 26, MD Ambulance will be at PotashCorp Playland from noon to 3 p.m., with several staff and ambulances, which will be made available for kids to tour, on site.
  • Humboldt Ambulance: Paramedics in Humboldt have been participating in multiple school tours, a child car safety seat clinic and two PARTY (Preventing Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) programs leading up to Paramedic Services Week. The ambulance service will also hold an open house at their base on May 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Lanigan and District Ambulance will hold a mock crash in the town of Viscount on May 24, as requested by the Viscount First Responders. The Lanigan Ambulance Community Paramedic Services Week barbecue will take place at the Lanigan Firehall on May 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and crews will participate in a mock crash and school talk on drinking and driving on May 26 in front of Lanigan High School.
  • Wakaw and District EMS Ltd. will participate in a mock collision as part of the PARTY program on May 21, will conduct a drug safety presentation at Wakaw School for Grades 4 and 5 students on May 23 and will hold a barbecue lunch with the RCMP on May 24. The ambulance crews will also run their Put a Lid On It campaign by awarding youth with slushie certificates for wearing helmets as well as providing helmets to those in need.
  • Rosthern and District Ambulance will have a barbecue in Centennial Park on May 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wynyard and Wadena EMS will hold a Teddy Bear Clinic and colouring contest at Wee Care preschool on May 11, as well as a Shamrock Ambulance spaghetti supper fundraiser for the Rose Valley Fire Department to replace some of the equipment that was lost in a fire. The ambulance crews will also hold a Child Car Seat Clinic from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 21, a Teddy Bear Clinic in Foam Lake on May 24, a safety talk and colouring contest at Wynyard Elementary Kindergarten B on May 24 and Wynyard Elementary Kindergarten A on May 25, and presentations on the Party Program and Distracted Driver/RCMP/SGI on May 27.