Essex-Windsor EMS

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.



Amherstburg police investigating fatal crash


The Amherstburg Police Service are investigating a two-vehicle collision at a rural intersection that has resulted in a fatality.

The Thursday morning collision closed the intersection of Alma St. and Howard Ave. and Amherstburg police reported early Thursday afternoon that one person died as a result of the crash. Police say the collision occurred around 7:50 a.m. between a 2014 black Honda Civic that was eastbound on Alma St. and a 2013 black Mazda 3 that was northbound on Howard Ave.

Amherstburg police say that a 58-year-old Harrow woman, who was driving the Mazda 3, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Police have not released a name.

The driver of the Honda Civic was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police add.

The Amherstburg Fire Department and Essex-Windsor EMS also attended the scene. A hydro pole was knocked down as a result of the collision, the fire department stated via its Twitter account.

The road was closed for several hours but has since re-opened. Amherstburg police say the investigation is continuing and charges are pending.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Amherstburg police at 519-736-3622 or Crime Stoppers at 519-258-TIPS (8477).

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.