Essex-Windsor EMS

Twenty-two new recruits welcomed into Essex-Windsor EMS family



By Ron Giofu


Essex-Windsor EMS welcomed 22 new paramedics to their team and are set to welcome even more later in 2018.

A commencement ceremony took place last Friday afternoon at the Essex Civic Centre in which the new paramedics were officially welcomed into the fold. They were the first group of local paramedics to join Essex-Windsor EMS with 27 more expected to be hired in May.

“It’s one of the biggest recruitments Essex-Windsor EMS has ever done,” said Slawomir Pulcer, captain with Essex-Windsor EMS.

The new members of Essex-Windsor EMS gather for a group photo with senior members of the staff last Friday afternoon. A commencement ceremony was held celebrating the arrival of the 22 new recruits.

Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter said the new paramedics were chosen out of 342 applicants. He said the enhancements to the service are largely due to Essex County council, who provided the increase in the budget to allow for the new recruits to be hired. Krauter added he was pleased with how the process went with the new hires bringing the total number of Essex-Windsor EMS staff to over 320 people.

The new hires are expected to allow Essex-Windsor EMS to get more ambulances on the road and to allow existing staff to take time off when they need it. The 22 new paramedics will all be part-time to start, but they could work as much as 36 hours per week.

Once the next group is hired in May, Krauter said it will result in a larger group of new paramedics than usual.

“It’s over twice as much as we usually get,” he said.

Krauter added that “we are preparing for the future” as a number of paramedics are getting close to retirement. He told the new hires that the service is a “family” and that they are there to help each other.

Deputy Chief Ryan Lemay (left) and paramedic Dave Bart (right) place the epaulletes on the shoulders of new Essex-Windsor EMS paramedic Michael Awad during a ceremony held last Friday afternoon at the Essex Civic Centre. Twenty-one other new
paramedics were also welcomed.

“We work together and support each other through thick and thin,” said Krauter.

Rob Maisonville, CAO with the County of Essex, told the new hires they should be proud of themselves, adding they are now part of the County of Essex family.

New recruits include Mitchell Adam, Khaalid Ali, Michael Awad, Adam Bardgett, Patrick Biczysko, Bart Czerniawski, Jenna Diamante, Stephanie Dummer, Christopher Dziedzic, Justin Elwgren, Suhaib Hammoud, Veronica Jarvis, Dalton Kingston, Tiffany Koniecki, Mitchell LaDouceur, Kody Lauzon, Amanda McCarton, Jessica Robson, Caullin Rundle, Ray Serifi, Dino Souilliere and Meaghan Vieira.

Candidates were required to pass a written test, complete a comprehensive paramedic practical evaluation and be successful in a qualifying interview and physical fitness evaluation.

EWEMS to donate surplus ambulances to St. Clair College



By Jolene Perron


Essex County Council has made the decision to donate a total of four ambulances to St. Clair College over the next six years.

Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter said in 2017 they received a request from St. Clair College asking for a donation of an ambulance to use as a teaching tool. He noted to council St. Clair College has received a donation of a surplus ambulance back in 2009, which at the time was five years old and is still being used by the college today. They have also, in the past, donated ambulances to various other organizations locally as well as internationally to St. Clair College, St. John Ambulance, Town of LaSalle Police Service, Jamaica and Haiti.

“In the case of St. Clair College, it benefits our future paramedics that may come into our community to work,” said Krauter. “They are familiar with the vehicle that is used as a teaching tool, and they understand how it works. It’s also a benefit to St. Clair College through their automotive and power training program because they can use those ambulances and work on them to see what the technology is, which has changed dramatically since 2004.”

When they aren’t donating their surplus ambulances, they either trade them in or use a web based auction house and bring in about $3,000 to $6,500 per vehicle.

The revenue is funnelled back into the vehicle reserves for future purchases.

The recommendation Krauter brought forward to council suggested they extend the donation over two years by donating one ambulance in 2018 and one in 2019. He also proposed they make a donation of another ambulance in 2023 with another donation proposed for 2024 which will create a consistent plan for the EWEMS to plan for, and will also allow for St. Clair College to plan for future teaching tools they will need.

Krauter said it will lessen the impact on their reserves, while also allowing for systematic and coordinated rotation as well as allow for the college to forecast.

“With the donation request we did reach out to our vendor, Crestline Coach Limited and they have graciously accepted a request to provide an additional $3,250 towards the trade in value of the 2018 ambulance purchase,” said Kruater. “That will help offset any costs of the donation and still bring into reserves. With this is will provide assistance with the reserves for the County of Essex and Essex-Windsor EMS.”

The motion was passed by council.

Amherstburg well represented among MP’s Canada 150 medal recipients



By Ron Giofu


Essex MP Tracey Ramsey recently awarded approximately 40 Canada 150 medals and Canada Sesquicentennial Pins to people from around the riding and Amherstburg was no exception.

Ramsey said the medals were to “incredible people of Essex (County) who have really inspired me. I knew they should be recognized for their efforts.”

Ramsey said that being the area’s Member of Parliament since 2015 has opened her eyes to all of the work taking place in the area.

Eleven-year-old Gabby Wilkinson of Amherstburg (left) was one of about 40 recipients of Canada 150 medals presented by Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“You can live here your whole life and not realize the work being done around us,” said Ramsey. “In the past two years I was able to meet and connect with incredible individuals who have inspired me. I have the wonderful opportunity to work with people in our communities who dedicate themselves every day by showing how much they care about their neighbours, making life better for all those around them.  I am honoured to be able to recognize them for their outstanding efforts to make our community a better place with these special symbols of Canada 150. I want to thank every recipient for their continued generosity of spirit that makes our riding of Essex and Canada the best place in the world to live.”

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (left) presents a Canada 150 medal to ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Among the recipients was Gabby Wilkinson, a student at Amherstburg Public School. Wilkinson was six-years-old when she had problems in math class with patterns. She received help in making patterns and that led to her making bracelets.

From there, Wilkinson started selling the bracelets at an Alzheimer fundraiser in Windsor and raised $68. “Gabby’s Gifts” evolved out of that and the local youth continues to volunteer and sell treats, crafts as well as her bracelets for numerous local charities and causes, including helping the homeless.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (left) presents a Canada 150 medal to Amherstburg Freedom Museum board president Monty Logan.

“I was nervous and excited,” Wilkinson said about getting the award. “It was a nice surprise.”

Wilkinson is now 11-years-old and in her fifth year of helping others.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission Tim McAllister was another local recipient. Born in Barbados, McAllister came to Canada and attended St. Clair College and became a welder. The married father of four worked in that field for several years before an auto accident involving a drunk driver cut his career short.

McAllister started volunteering with the mission with founders Andy and Pat Gervais and would eventually become president, a position he has held for the last 17 years. He is also a board member at Matthew House in Windsor. He has also won other numerous awards for his efforts.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (left) presents a Canada 150 medal to Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister.

“As president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, I have found great pleasure in our motto ‘People Helping People’,” said McAllister. “I didn’t volunteer to receive this award but on behalf of my board of directors and volunteers, I do it with a humble and thankful heart. For all of those who volunteer and support the mission, I thank you.”

Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at Amherstburg Community Services (ACS), was another of the medal recipients. DiBartolomeo started volunteering with ACS in 2007 as a way to give back and to support the community. She worked her way up the ladder and by 2009, she had shown the skills and passion to become the executive director.

With DiBartolomeo at the helm, ACS is in the Amherstburg, McGregor, Harrow and LaSalle communities and assists thousands of people who are vulnerable, elderly or in need. She is also willing to volunteer her time to assist other organizations who need a helping hand.

“I am very honoured and humbled by this Canada 150 medal,” DiBartolomeo stated. “To be recognized for what you love to do is rewarding and gives me and my staff the encouragement to continue serving  our community.

Team Ontario – a group of Essex-Windsor EMS members who won back-to-back gold medals at the Ralleye Rejviz international paramedic competition – were honoured by Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (centre) with Canada 150 medals. Amherstburg native Lance Huver is second from left.

Monty Logan was also recognized with a Canada 150 medal and pin. Logan, president of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum’s board of directors, was elected to that position in 2012, after joining the board the previous year.

Logan has helped guide the museum through key strategic, infrastructure, programming and fundraising initiatives as well as a transformation from the former identity as the North American Black Historical Museum to the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. Two elements of the transformation are complete – the curated archive on the Underground Railroad and the Amherstburg Freedom Summit. The final component is the Amherstburg Freedom Institute, which will focus on promoting solutions to address social and economic challenges facing young people today.

“It’s awesome to be honoured for the work we do at the museum,” said Logan. “More importantly, it’s getting our name out there. It’s an honour to be recognized for the work we do.”

Several police officers were among the medal recipients, including Amherstburg police chief Tim Berthiaume. Berthiaume, who has spent his entire career in Amherstburg, was contacted by the RTT and he said he was happy to be recognized.

“I am honoured and humbled to be recipient of the Canada 150 Medal,” said Berthiaume.

Team Ontario, the group of Essex-Windsor EMS paramedics that won gold at the Rallye Rejviz international competition, was also honoured. EMS Team Ontario members Chris Kirwin, Shawn May, Lance Huver and Mike Filiault made up the 2017 team with Huver being an Amherstburg native.

Person pulled from water off of Boblo Island

The Amherstburg Fire Department is reporting that a person was rescued from the water off of Boblo Island.

The person, identified by a male likely in his early 30’s, was pulled from the water near the Boblo Island restaurant. The Amherstburg Police Service and Essex-Windsor EMS also attended.

The person was conscious, said the fire department, and transported to hospital.

The fire department was reported to be on scene shortly before 12:30 p.m.

A local passerby was out walking their dog when they heard the man’s cry for help. The passerby called 911 and the man was removed from the water.

Amherstburg police state that upon arrival, the victim was in the water being held by another person. Police believe he was fishing in the area of the marina when he went into the water. As of 2:45 p.m., the man was described as being in stable condition.

Amherstburg police remind people to be careful around water as the ice isn’t thick yet and people can still be in danger if they aren’t cautious.

Essex-Windsor EMS requests service enhancement for 2018 budget deliberation



By Jolene Perron


With a steady increase in call volumes and the recent changes of the Chatham-Kent EMA, the Essex-Windsor EMS is looking to address issues with their response times.

Essex-Windsor Chief EMS Bruce Krauter brought a detailed report to county council Nov. 1, outlining a number of areas including their legislated funding requirements, call volume, response times, unit hour utilization, fire service tiered medical response, hospital offload delays and the change in the municipality of Chatham-Kent deployment services, which are all areas that impacted their final proposal to council.

In the report, Krauter states call volume has increased by a total of 10 per cent since 2012.

“Coupled with the continual pressure of off load delays, the unit hour utilization (UHU) is far above the best industry business practice of 35 per cent,” explained Krauter. “Response times are impacted negatively, as resources are utilized to cover more than one area and then must travel greater distances to respond to a call. In respect to the UHU, when multiple stations are at or above 65 per cent, the result is the entire region suffers and has

minimal to no available resources.”

Krauter explained fire services have been assisting EMS regularly across the region, which also means overall response time performance has become unfavorable year to year. He said while mitigation projects are in place, call volume is outpacing the resources EWEMS have. He also noted legislation changes of Bill 160, an “Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 with respect to occupational health and safety and other matters,” which will provide some relief but will take time to implement and won’t be an overnight fix as call volumes are projected to continue to rise.

“Consideration for a service enhancement for the 2018 budget deliberations is to increase the staff for one ambulance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a compliment of 12

Paramedics are required,” explained Krauter. “Inclusive of wages, benefits, vacation and ongoing training the cost is approximately $1.5 million. The physical resources required are approximately $286,000, inclusive of ambulance, stretcher, defibrillator, computer, patient care devices and medical supplies. This proposal will require a total of 23 full time equivalent paramedics.”

Krauter said the proposal will address the current and proposed CKEMS deployment changes which are currently impacting the residents of Stoney Point and Lighthouse Cove, northeasterly of Lakeshore.

He is also asking for a ten-year EMS master plan to be completed in 2018, which will cost approximately $150,000. Once complete, Krauter explained the EMS Master Plan would become a guiding principal and document for future EWEMS.

County council carried the motion for the proposal to be brought into the 2018 budget deliberations.