Essex-Windsor EMS recruits 11 new paramedics



By Jolene Perron


They started with over 150 applications, and after what Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter describes as a grueling process, they able to choose just 11 new paramedics to welcome to the force.

The new recruits included Mamoun Abu Khatir, Carman Cioffi, Anthony De Santis, Nicole Fields, Nathan Jean, Jeffrey Kfrerer, Mitchell Postma, Erick Potvin, Colin Smallwood, Tim Taggart and Mattew Temporal.

The group of 10 men and one woman stood in the Essex County council chambers for their commencement ceremony. Friends and family watched as they received their epaulettes with their new ranks.

“For the first time this year they are all graduates of St. Clair College, both the Windsor Campus and the Chatham-Kent Campus. It’s kind of remarkable that they are all graduates of St. Clair College,” explained Krauter. “All but one are born and raised in Windsor Essex. We have one that came from Scarborough, he went to school here at St. Clair College in Windsor and this is where he has chosen to start his career so that’s a great thing as well.”

Krauter explained it all starts out with an application, which includes 200 written and multiple choice questions based on their knowledge of paramedicine and the area, and different knowledge questions. That got them down to about 100, which moved on to scenario testing, which Krauter explained is more patient-care and interpersonal skill driven. It tests how they handle stressful situations, if they can think on their feet. He said it’s not just a matter of them knowing how to do an intervention, it’s a matter of how they react. The applicants completed about 70 of those scenario testing and once that was done, Essex-Windsor EMS interviewed about 31 applicants, and through the interview process and that’s when it came down to the 11.

“It’s quite involved, it’s no longer the matter of just an interview an hand them a uniform, they have to go through a grueling procedure to get to this point,” said Krauter.

The new Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics were recently welcomed by Chief Bruce Krauter (far right) and the rest of the service.

The new Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics were recently welcomed by Chief Bruce Krauter (far right) and the rest of the service.

On top of that, once they selected the 11 they had to go through a physical fitness test, which takes about an hour to complete.

Nicole Fields, the lone female recruit graduated just one month ago from St. Clair College. The 30-year-old is exploring her second career, and is no stranger to being in a male-dominated field.

“Sounds like the story of my life,” said Fields. “I came from a background of CNC machining, so I did skilled trades for 10 years. I did graduate with some amazing women in my class who would have made great paramedics and I know they will in the future. I’m just really happy to be here and thrilled to have been hired on with some of my classmates, we all worked really hard.”

Among the 11 recruits was Amherstburg native Timothy Taggart. Taggart graduated from St. Clair College in 2011, and has spent the last five years working with James Bay Ambulance Service in Moosonee.

“I’ve always wanted to get back home and I’m just happy to be back home and serve my home community,” said Taggart. “It was a pretty grueling process over about a month, written tests, scenarios, interviews, lift tests, it was not easy and I think the best people prevailed in the end.”

Krauter said the new recruits will be working part-time and will be doing back-fill for now for vacations and such, and they will be working throughout Windsor and Essex County, including Pelee Island.

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