Chris Kirwin

EMS Team Ontario recognized by Essex County council

 

By Ron Giofu

 

For the second straight year, area paramedics that made up EMS Team Ontario won gold at the Rallye Rejviz international competitions.

And, for the second straight year, the local paramedics were recognized for their accomplishments by Essex County council.

EMS Team Ontario was at county council Wednesday night where they were honoured. EMS Team Ontario members Chris Kirwin, Shawn May, Lance Huver and Mike Filiault are also paramedics with Essex-Windsor EMS.

EMS Team Ontario, comprised of paramedics from Essex-Windsor EMS, were recognized at last Wednesday night’s Essex County council meeting for winning a second straight gold medal at the Rallye Rejviz international paramedic competition. From left: Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter, Shawn May, Mike Filiault, Lance Huver, Chris Kirwin, Warden Tom Bain. Huver lives and works in Amherstburg.

EMS Team Ontario, comprised of paramedics from Essex-Windsor EMS, were recognized at last Wednesday night’s Essex County council meeting for winning a second straight gold medal at the Rallye Rejviz international paramedic competition. From left: Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter, Shawn May, Mike Filiault, Lance Huver, Chris Kirwin, Warden Tom Bain. Huver lives and works in Amherstburg.

Team captain Chris Kirwin explained that he and Tricia Rousseau won the 2015 National Paramedic Competition and that expanded in 2016 when four local paramedics won the Rallye Rejviz international competition the first time.

Last year’s team included Kirwin, Huver, Slav Pulcer and Nick Montaleone. The latter two were unable to be part of the 2017 team and May and Filiault joined.

“We trained quite extensively,” said Kirwin. “We probably trained six months for this.”

Essex County Warden Tom Bain (right) reads what it says on one of the plaques given to EMS Team Ontario members. Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter is at left.

Essex County Warden Tom Bain (right) reads what it says on one of the plaques given to EMS Team Ontario members. Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter is at left.

Not only was the goal to repeat as Rallye Rejviz champions, but it was also to highlight the caliber of paramedics the region has.

“Our goal was to promote paramedics in the region and the paramedics who serve across the country,” he said.

EMS Team Ontario raised $13,000 in order to go, test their skills and learn some new skills along the way. They met with the team from British Columbia when they arrived in the Czech Republic.

“The competition was intense this year,” said Kirwin.

Kirwin added there were more teams and the competition, held in late May, was longer than the 2016 version.

“The other teams we faced were phenomenal,” said Kirwin. “They knew we won last year and they were ready to take it from us. We were proud to represent Canada on an international scale.”

Winning again speaks to the caliber of paramedics Essex-Windsor EMS has, Kirwin added.

Huver, an Amherstburg native who also works locally, said over two-and-a-half years of work has gone into being part of the team. Huver said they helped train others and learned new skills themselves, with those skills to be transferred into helping others in the community for the rest of their careers.

“It’s been a great learning experience for us,” said Huver.

Essex-Windsor EMS trying to defend international gold medal

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Paramedics from Essex-Windsor EMS – including one from Amherstburg – will be heading to the Czech Republic trying to defend the gold medal they won last year.

Chris Kirwin, Lance Huver, Mike Filiault and Shawn May will be representing the region, province and country as part of the Ontario entry into the Rallye Rejviz paramedic competition. That is the competition the Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics won last year and they told Essex County council last Wednesday night that the gold medal from last year is reflective of the type of paramedics Essex County and Windsor have.

Huver is from Amherstburg and was part of the team with Kirwin last year while the other two members of the team are new for 2017. Huver, who is based out of the Simcoe St. station, said he has been working with the international competition team for two-and-a-half years and said it is something he feels very strongly about. He said they want to represent this area, the province and all of Canada well.

Essex-Windsor EMS competition team members Shawn May, Mike Filiault, Chris Kirwin and Lance Huver address county council last Wednesday.

Essex-Windsor EMS competition team members Shawn May, Mike Filiault, Chris Kirwin and Lance Huver address county council last Wednesday.

Not only does the team want to win, but they also learn new skills along the way. Huver said they learn from paramedics from other countries how certain situations are handled differently.

“I get a lot of enjoyment learning from paramedics from all over the world,” said Huver.

Huver has been a paramedic for nine years and said he gets a lot of enjoyment trying to help people in any situation that can arise.

“I just like being there for people in their most dire situations,” he said.

Huver said eight to 10 hours per week is spent training for the competition on top of his regular work hours.

“This is all on my own time,” he said. “I’ve worked on it pretty much every day for the last two-and-a-half years.”

He told county council that “we’re trying to promote the region and para-medicine in general. We feel really strongly about this.”

Kirwin, the team leader, said being a part of the Essex-Windsor EMS competition team is strictly volunteer. They have a $16,600 budget and they come up with the money on their own through donations and sponsorships.

Filiault said they are trying to promote their team through social media and trying to raise awareness of what the team is doing and para-medicine in general.

The local team will be leaving for the Czech Republic May 21 as that is the date they fly out of Windsor Airport. They meet with Team British Columbia May 22 and compete at the world’s largest medical rescue competition May 24-28. They meet with the Ambassador of Canada and other dignitaries May 29 and return home May 31.

Filiault and May are new to the team, replacing Nick Montaleone and Slawomir Pulcer. The latter two were unable to be part of the 2017 team. While Huver is from Amherstburg, Kirwan and May are from Windsor while Filiault is from Harrow.