Essex-Windsor EMS

Villanova social justice students donate “comfort dogs” to EMS



By Ron Giofu


A group of St. Thomas of Villanova students have stepped up to assist children in times of emergencies.

Two Grade 12 social justice classes from the Catholic secondary school donated 101 plush St. Bernard dogs to Essex-Windsor EMS last Wednesday afternoon. Teacher Jolene Coste said there was a “dress down” day in the school that raised approximately $1,200 and that allowed for the purchase of the stuffed animals.

“I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years with emergency services,” Coste said of the project.

Two social justice classes from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School stand with Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter after the school donated 101 “comfort dogs” to EMS.

This was the first year the Essex-Windsor EMS received the stuffed dogs, with Coste stating the classes believed they would be a good organization to donate to. Emergency services in LaSalle and Windsor have received donations in previous years.

“It’s about giving back to the community,” she said.

Bruce Krauter, chief of Essex-Windsor EMS, said such a donation is very important to someone who is in need. It means a lot to the children and parents, he said.

Krauter praised the Villanova students, stating it shows they are both caring and community leaders for undertaking such a project.

Staff from Essex-Windsor EMS will give out the stuffed “comfort dogs” to children who have been in an accident or are in another crisis situation.

Evening accident sends two people to hospital



A two-vehicle accident in McGregor late Tuesday afternoon has resulted in two people being sent to hospital with serious injuries.

The Amherstburg Police Service states that at approximately 5:28 p.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the intersection of Middle Side Road (County Road 10) and Concession 8 North for a two-vehicle motor vehicle accident with injuries.

The Amherstburg Fire Department and Essex-Windsor EMS also attended the scene with the fire department extricating a 66-year-old man from his 2008 red Ford Ranger. Police say he was transported to hospital, as was the driver of the other vehicle, a 2002 beige Dodge Dakota. Injuries are described by Amherstburg police as serious, but non-life threatening.

According to the Amherstburg Police Service, investigation showed that the driver of the Dakota was southbound on Concession 8 North and allegedly failed to stop at the stop sign at Middle Side Road and struck the Ranger.

The investigation is continuing and Amherstburg police say that charges are pending.

Anyone with information or any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-3622 or Windsor-Essex Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 (TIPS).

County approves new medical tiered response program



By Ron Giofu


Essex County council has amended the Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) and it appears that it will benefit local fire departments.

One of these is the Amherstburg fire department, with town council taking credit for pressing the issue with the county.

According to a report from Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter that went before county council earlier this month, Essex-Windsor EMS as well as the county and Windsor fire services “have a long-standing agreement in which the fire services are notified, or otherwise known as tiered, for medical responses. The agreements are provided to the Central Ambulance Communication Centre as a directive for communicators to follow when requesting assistance from fire services.”

Krauter noted in his report that the criteria of medical tiered response changed over a 24-year period among the various individual fire services until 2015.

“The variety of the criteria resulted in confusion of the communicators and responding paramedics alike, therefore in 2015 the Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) was unified and formalized across the city and county fire services,” Krauter stated in his report. “The unification created a consistent approach across all municipalities and fire services.”

Krauter also noted that the 2015 MTRA introduced “the unified medical direction, continued quality assurance and call auditing. This unification and consistent approach has improved patient care and is one of the leading factors in the increased sudden cardiac arrest survival rates, year over year.”

Krauter added: “Since the inception of the 2015 MTRA the EWEMS call volume has increased, on average, 6-8 per cent. As discussed in the 2018 budget deliberations, the increase in call volume has put pressure on not only EWEMS but also the local fire services, whom are participants in the MTRA.”

While local fire departments can still respond to Code 4 calls when EMS staff is depleted, they would not be dispatched to medical facilities where doctors and nurses are already on site.

As a general rule, fire departments should not be dispatched to doctor’s offices, dentists offices, Family Health Teams, nurse practitioner-led clinics, hospitals, hospices or community health centres, Krauter’s reported added.

“This additional clause is expected to reduce the responses to those locations where a higher medical authority is on scene and able to provide a higher medical intervention before EMS arrival,” Krauter stated. “The amended Medical Tiered Response Agreement is expected to maintain the excellent services our fire services provide across the Essex-Windsor region while maintaining their local services in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. The Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreements are currently in the approval process in their respective municipalities. Once approved, they become part of the EWEMS deployment plan and are delivered to the Windsor Central Ambulance Communication Centre for implementation. It is the anticipated the MTRA can be delivered with in the next three to four weeks.”

The town has spent $70,000 over the last couple of years on medical calls with the new agreement calling for a reduction of almost half of that.

Councillor Rick Fryer said every municipality should be paying its fair share and the new agreement will allow for a more equitable distribution of costs.

“I know this was not well received at first and (the county) was not too impressed with our council but we did the job for our residents,” said Fryer.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the new agreement won’t address off-load delays at area hospitals, but will address many of the town’s concerns.

“It’s a good thing we brought it up and frankly, we got what we asked for,” he said.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone anticipated a favourable financial impact for the town and said it will lessen the impact on local ratepayers.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.

“Sunshine List” released for 2017



By Ron Giofu


The “Sunshine List” is out showing public sector salaries for 2017.

The salaries are released under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act which requires most organizations that receive public funding from Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in the previous calendar year.

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act applies to the provincial government, Crown agencies and corporations, Ontario Power Generation and subsidiaries, publicly funded organizations such as hospitals, municipalities, school boards, universities and colleges, and not-for-profit organizations that meet a funding threshold.

The $100,000 threshold has not changed since the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act was enacted in 1996, and has not been adjusted to keep up with inflation.

In Amherstburg, a total of 38 municipal employees made the list, up from the 36 that made the list last year. Of the 38 employees that made the over $100,000 in 2017, 25 of them were members of the Amherstburg Police Service. That is the same number of police officers that appeared on the “Sunshine List” for both the 2015 and 2016 disclosure years as well.

Four members of the Amherstburg Fire Department made the list for 2017.

CAO John Miceli earned $196,523.43, the most of any Amherstburg employee in 2017. Police chief Tim Berthiaume was second with earnings of $171,643.54 while deputy police chief Ian Chappell earned $139,278.33.

Other Amherstburg employees on the list included, in alphabetical order, Const. Fred Adair at $109,627.39, manager of planning services Rebecca Belanger at $111,354.44, Const. Rory Bennett at $119,386.30, Const. David Bohdal at $120,208.52, Sgt. Don Brown at $133,618.56, Const. Viktor Burany at $109,048.47, Sgt. Matt Capel-Cure at $129,675.50, firefighter/training officer Andrew Challans at $117,953.62, Const. Aaron Chambers at $109,636.39, Sgt. Mike Cox at $109,286.27, Const. Nick D’Amore at $117,990.19, Const. Chris Dean at $108,502.64, Const. Nicholaus Dupuis at $115,288.69, firefighter Jason Durocher at $129,601.41, Const. Tim Ford at $106,727.99 and director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin at $136,096.31.

The list of Amherstburg employees making over $100,000 last year also includes Const. Sean Gazdig at $113,550.64, director of engineering and public works Antonietta Giofu at $124,137.74, Const. Nathan Harris at $115,510.91, manager of engineering and public works Todd Hewitt at $104,704.34, Const. Shawn McCurdy at $105,771.82, Const. Margaret O’Brien at $113,106.57, Const. Rocco Pelaccia at $114,592.52, Const. Ryan Pizzala at $106,810.60, Const. Christian Pottle at $103,032.70, Const. Kim Rathbone at $102,545.77, Const. Chris Renaud at $103,666.59 and Sgt. Scott Riddell at $118,598.16.

Also on the list were manager of human resources Michelle Rose at $112,274.87, treasurer Justin Rousseau at $124,137.74, Const. Paul Smith at $110,619.89, Sgt. Melissa Taylor at $126.315.35, Const. B.J. Wiley at $115,685.23 and firefighters Rick and Randy Wismer at $124,475.63 and $127,398.76 respectively.

There were 33 employees with the County of Essex that made the Public Salary Disclosure List for 2017. That list includes 15 members of Essex-Windsor EMS.

The county’s list includes the former and current CAO’s as Brian Gregg, who retired in the fall, was listed at $150,965.62 while Rob Maisonville, who had been director of corporate services/treasurer before taking over for Gregg as CAO, earned $162,855.83.

Others making the county’s list for 2017 included EMS district chief Jean-Pierre Bacon at $111,646.97, director of infrastructure services Tom Bateman at $133,607.89, manager of budget and administration Paula Beattie at $100,393.49, EMS district chief Sarah Bezaire at $106,727.71, director of county and community services/clerk Mary Brennan at $124,988.98, EMS district chief Tyson Brohman at $114,790.94, director of nursing at the Sun Parlour Home Jayne Brooks Keller at $107,609.49 and manager of design and construction Peter Bziuk at $108,429.78.

The Essex Civic Centre

The County of Essex also saw others on the “Sunshine List,” including advanced care paramedic Justin Campeau at $114,324.54, advanced care paramedic Ziad Fatallah at $109,443.54, EMS district chief John Fast at $119,077.87, EMS deputy chief of planning and physical resources Christopher Grant at $144,298.15, registered nurse Kim Hodgson at $100,470.47, EMS district chief John Jacobs at $122,423.19, EMS district chief Michael Jacobs at $122,921.10, advanced care paramedic Anthony Jaroszewicz at $100,000.58, primary care paramedic Nicholas Jovanovic at $102,404.76, manager of accounting Michael Kappl at $110,699.78 and manager of planning Bill King at $100,699.83.

The Public Salary Disclosure List for the county also included EMS Chief Bruce Krauter at $109,308.35, EMS deputy chief of professional standards Justin Lammers at $109,940.80, EMS deputy chief of operations Ryan Lemay at $125,504.53, registered nurse Kristine Malott at $100,346.11, EMS district chief Denis McFarlane at $118,614.36, Sun Parlour Home administrator Lynda Monik at $131,131.08, EMS district chief Mechelle Murphy at $120,045.69, manager of transportation, planning and development Jane Mustac at $108,359.78, manager of maintenance operations Kenneth Newman at $119,629.03, director of human resources Greg Schlosser at $123,450.57, manager of information technology Wendy St. Amour at $105,153.67 and primary care paramedic Arnold Wenzler at $104,794.73.


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.