Dear Paramedic Student,

It’s paramedic week and I wanted to commemorate it with this blog post I wrote a while back. Thank you to all of the paramedics for serving your communities.

To the paramedic student,

You will think you can save everyone; you can’t.

You will learn how to eat an entire meal while walking from the station to the ambulance; who needs to chew anyways?

Nightgowns will be your nemesis; trust me.

You will question if you can defibrillate in the rain; can you?

You will hold many stranger’s hands; respect this opportunity.

You will question humanity after a pediatric VSA; that’s ok – you are not alone in this.

You will think that talking about your feelings makes you weak; it doesn’t.

You will learn the ‘vomit-look’ and be able to unwrap an emesis bag faster than you can blink an eye; you’ll know you have ‘made it’ when you can do this.

You will have your hands frozen to the metal of the stretcher when you are on the side of the highway in a snow storm; be grateful for quick-connects.

You will run out of sterile water when you are irrigating a burn; thank God for pain meds.

You will wonder how the heck could the senior guy/girl know more about anatomy than you? Remember, they have put anatomy back together on the side of a road; they know their stuff.

You will get lazy and not wash the truck; wash the damn truck.

You will step in things you cannot recognize; don’t wear your boots in your own home.

One of the best sounds you will hear is a newborn crying; then you will breathe.

You will wade through bloody mud to reach a trapped driver; they have been waiting to see your face.

The last sense that leaves an unconscious patient is sound; talk to them.

Google ‘agonal breathing’; you need to know what this looks like so you don’t mistake it.

You will think you’ve seen it all; trust me, you haven’t.

You will think you are the luckiest person in the world to have the career you do; you are.



Biking Barrie … Soon

Would I feel safe biking Barrie? I don’t know … that’s why I’m going to try! Stay tuned.


Animal Protection Survey

Province Launches Public Survey; Acts to Ensure No Animal Falls Through the Cracks

Ontario’s Government is working to improve the animal welfare system to make sure it is more robust, transparent and accountable. As this work proceeds, the government wants to hear from the people of Ontario.

To take the survey, click here.


Opioid Talks Continue in Barrie

Some people have asked me if the opioid crisis conversation has stopped – heck no! Today I met with the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy chair, Dr. Simon, moms who lost sons to this crisis (Melissa Melissa Nieuwhof Hurst and Evelyn Pollock), Marc Hanuman Cohen and other members of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ask more questions, get more answers, collaborate, investigate, plan, and more.

I am happy to share that Barrie City Council has approved the creation of the Community Health and Wellbeing Committee (of which I am grateful to be a part of with Councillor Jim Harris and Councillor Gary Harvey). I look forward to meeting next month.