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Toronto EMS News & Video

2014 marks the 30 year anniversary of ALS or Advanced Life Support paramedicine at Toronto EMS. Join us as we celebrate this milestone throughout the year. Check this page from time to time as we update it with materials we’ve collected over the last 30 years.

(Please click the images below to expand them.)

Paramedic hopefuls begin training

First paramedic teams ready to hit streets Monday Continue reading »

Friday morning on the 20th of September, a multitude of paramedics from all over Canada participated in the first annual Canadian Paramedic Memorial Ride. Starting at Queen’s Park and ending 526km later on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the riders are raising funds and awareness in support of the Canadian Paramedic Benevolent Society’s goal for a National Canadian Paramedic Monument.

Since 1988, 36 paramedics working for both civilian and military services have died in the line of duty, and this inaugural ride was dedicated to the ORNGE helicopter crew who perished on May 31st of this year.

Toronto EMS’s bike unit accompanied the long distance riders as far as Riverdale Park. This year’s goal for the ride is to raise $5 million for a memorial statue in Ottawa.



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It’s EMS Week 2013 – Health Care in Motion. May 21 – 24. Toronto EMS paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) will be hosting public events across the city to showcase their life-saving skills.

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The first podcast in our new series: in this installment, we sit down with Claude Muir, a critical care paramedic with the Toronto EMS Critical Care Unit to talk about the Unit, a fascinating example of the world class care practiced here.

Have a listen! (25:19)


At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, four Toronto EMS paramedics volunteered to represent their service at the 6th annual Anchors Aweigh Relay Challenge at Ricoh Coliseum. The winners received bragging rights and a donation to their favourite charity.

Anchors Aweigh teams flank Honorary Referee, Councillor Doug Ford in the centre of the photo. Toronto EMS team: Terry Demchuk, Brayden Hamilton Smith, Mark Ralston, Allister Keene. Toronto Fire Services: Jason Eyers, Darren Bell, Rob Kular and Jayson Gil. RCMP: Jason Avery, Sean Kelly, Hal Martin, Eliot Hill. Toronto Police Services: Alex Csibi, Kevin Lee, Scott Spicer and Mike Rymsha.

The annual event is part of the Toronto Boat Show pre-opening day activities and each year Toronto EMS paramedics prepare to enter and win. This year the team was comprised of Marine Paramedics Allister Keene, Terry Demchuk, and Mark Ralston, along with Paramedic Brayden Hamilton-Smith. Marine Paramedic Superintendent Ian Palmer and Deputy Chief Garrie Wright were there to cheer the team as the honorary coach and team captain. Councillor Doug Ford also attended as an honorary referee.

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On Tuesday November 6, 2012, 20 new paramedics graduated from Toronto EMS’ rigorous orientation program. These new Paramedics are now pursuing their passion in Toronto’s streets, residences and businesses. They are starting their careers helping the over 800 patients who call for emergency medical help from Toronto EMS paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers every day.

Each May during EMS Week, Toronto EMS hosts its annual award ceremony. The following are the recipients of this year’s awards. There are 26 citizens and 19 members of Toronto Police and or Fire Services recognized for their medical assistance, 20 EMS staff members recognized for outstanding contributions to the service in 2011. Congratulations to all the recipients.

Chief’s Award: Paramedics Tonya Tewnion and Cynthia Doorenspleet for an outstanding effort in developing and implementing a drug inventory protocol.

Pioneer of the Year: Tom Baillie, retired medic and dispatcher, for his commitment and involvement with the Pioneer executive.

EMD of the Year: Natalie Silvera, for her consistently professional focus, experience and knowledge as a Toronto emergency medical dispatcher.

Paramedic of the Year: Lloyd Cresswell, for his professionalism, and his exceptional work ethic as a paramedic, field training officer and Health and Safety representative.

Support Staff of the Year: Harmony Bickerton, for being the “unsung hero” of Toronto Emergency Medical Services Education Department; specifically her dedication and diligence in preparing for the Ministry of Health Audit in 2011.

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Rahul Singh has a passion for helping people, in the City of Toronto and around the world.

Rahul Singh with The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Global Medic, the not-for-profit organization he formed to honour the memory of his friend David McAntony Gibson, has grown significantly since it was formed in 1998. Over the years, Global Medics has led 60 missions to over 30 countries.

Rahul and his team’s work abroad as well as his international leadership have not gone unrecognized. Rahul has received a Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award and was voted by Time Magazine readers as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010.

To add to his growing collection of recognitions, Rahul is now a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour. He received this recognition at a special ceremony on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at Queen’s Park. He was invested to the Order by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable David C. Onley.

Toronto EMS is proud to have Rahul as part of the Toronto EMS team, and we wish him continued success in his work.

Toronto Emergency Medical Services has won the coveted 2011 International Trauma Life Support Patient Care Competition held recently in Nashville, Tennessee.

left to right: Shamez Kassam, Martin Johnston, Lorne Burns

The Toronto EMS team consisting of paramedics Shamez Kassam, Lorne Burns, Martin Johnston and coordinator Ron Kowalik competed against six teams from Canada, the United States, Japan and Slovenia on October 28. Three scenarios tested patient-care skills. A team from Niagara EMS placed second and last year’s winning team from the United States placed third.

“This victory demonstrates the quality of care that our paramedics provide every day,” said Toronto EMS Chief Paul Raftis. “While every injury is tragic for the people involved, the citizens of Toronto can feel secure knowing that when these events happen, residents will receive world-class care that is second to none.”

Founded in the early 1980s, International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) is a not-for-profit, global organization with its headquarters in Illinois. ITLS is dedicated to preventing death and disability from trauma through education and emergency trauma care. ITLS is credited for establishing the International Trauma Standard and its programs are accepted internationally as the standard training course for pre-hospital trauma care.

On May 26th 2011, Toronto EMS was honoured in attending the first annual “Public Heroes” dinner sponsored by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, or IDI. The IDI is a Turkish-based organization with 11 chapters across Canada. They promote cultural awareness and believe that with mutual understanding and dialogue the world will achieve Global Peace. Their motto: “Step by Step towards Global Peace”

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