CK paramedics recognized for fundraising efforts

Chatham-Kent EMS workers during the 2018 Paramedic Ride at Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Photo via CK EMS Twitter)

Chatham-Kent paramedics are being recognized after raising the most money during the 2018 Paramedic Ride.

The ride raises funds in support of the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Foundation, which seeks to construct a monument in Ottawa to commemorate the lives of paramedics who have died in the line of duty.

The event took place in September. Around 180 EMS workers from across the province cycled 500 kilometres from Toronto to Ottawa in the span of four days and made stops along the way to raise additional funds.

Several EMS workers from Chatham-Kent took part. Local paramedic Tom Millard didn’t ride but describes himself as part of the “pit crew.”

“It was pretty impressive going into Ottawa, Parliament Hill with that big of a group and police escort, helicopters overhead,” Millard said. “It was pretty neat.”

Millard said the money raised beforehand came from personal staff donations, a golf tournament they held and the staff donating an hour worth of wages.

This year, the Chatham-Kent team rode in honour of two Chatham-Kent paramedics who passed away. Paul Patterson, who passed away in 2007 after a car accident while he was working and Kristal Giesebrecht, an EMS worker from Wallaceburg who died while serving in Afghanistan.

Millard said it was an honour to be able to participate to commemorate fallen workers.

“Basically to remember those who gave their lives, whether it was in the military or serving the public doing EMS paramedic work,” he said.

The Paramedic Ride started seven years ago. Millard said the 2019 event will feature a new ride from Windsor to Toronto.