Each year, paramedics take the time to remember colleagues they’ve lost in the line of duty. While COVID limited their ability to gather, this year was no exception as the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell visited ambulance operations across Ontario, including stops at Chatham-Kent EMS and Perth County Paramedic Services.
Built in 2015, the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell was designed by Ottawa paramedic Michael Dunlop to honour paramedics who have died in the line of duty. The bell is housed in Ottawa and the fallen are normally remembered during a large ceremony each year. However, with this year’s COVID restrictions, the organizers of The Paramedic Ride – a not-for-profit organization that’s raising money for a paramedic memorial monument in Ottawa – arranged to have the bell travel across Ontario, visiting all 52 land and air ambulances services in the province.
In June, the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Bell visited Chatham-Kent EMS, where the names of the fallen were read during a bell-ringing ceremony. A similar ceremony took place in early September in Perth County, where Perth County Paramedic Services paramedics gathered with local officials.
“From coast to coast across Canada, paramedics remain ever ready to respond to the needs of our communities,” said Perth County Paramedic Services Chief Mike Adair during the ceremony. “Paramedics choose their career but it’s far more than that. I believe it’s a true vocation. They live for the calls they face, sometimes with adversity that comes with both the physical and psychological challenges that can stay with them throughout their careers. It’s perhaps because of this that paramedics are masters of learning and working together.”