City of Toronto

Backgrounder: Toronto Paramedic Services awards recipients for 2017

On April 6, at Toronto Paramedic Services’ Headquarters, Chief Gord McEachen recognized 17 winners of the annual Toronto Paramedic Services awards for acts of bravery beyond the call-of-duty and extraordinary service. This annual ceremony takes place every spring and includes the recognition of members of the public, members of the City of Toronto’s emergency allied services, Toronto Paramedic Services employees and the media for valour and contributions over the past year. This year, 58 people including individual citizens, allied service members, Toronto Paramedic Services employees and members of the media were recognized. 

2017 Paramedics award recipients

John Dean Chiefs Award:

 Jessie Lee, Paramedic is recognized for developing a comprehensive program database for Community Paramedicine.  The program allows our community paramedics to help the people who are identified as struggling with new or changing conditions based on their 911 call history.


Martin Johnston, Superintendent is recognized for his research and implementation of a procedure known as Double Sequential Defibrillation.  Superintendent Johnston has also developed a Mentorship Program for successful integration of new Toronto Paramedics into their challenging career.


Paramedic Of the Year:  

Tim Lofgren, Paramedic who over his 29 year career has earned the respect of his colleagues by demonstrating his skill as a positive, caring and compassionate patient advocate.  He demonstrated great leadership in, not only his management of a major highway incident, but in his mentorship and guidance of those who attended during and after the event.


Support Person of the Year: 

Nurin Brijmohan is well respected for her work as a Financial Analyst.  She goes out of her way every day to help all Paramedic Services staff navigate the complicated City procurement system.  She is a true pleasure to work with.


Pioneer of the Year: 

Mike Medley is a retired 35 year member of the Toronto Paramedic Service.  Mike remained as a volunteer on the Peer Resource Team until this year.  He is recognized for his outstanding contributions in supporting his peers in their time of need.


Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year:

To be announced and recognized during Emergency Telecommunicators week, on April 11 in a city-wide presentation.


Allied Service Award:

  • PC Nicolas Snyckers attended to a person suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg that resulted in severe and life threatening bleeding.  PC Snyckers quick thinking and control of the bleeding contributed to the patient's survival.
  • Ana Mere, a Toronto EMS White Knights member provided volunteer first aid coverage for the Ride to Conquer Cancer when an individual collapsed, Ana and others began CPR, their efforts contributed to the patient's survival.
  • PC Daniela Quinn attended a call of a patient who suffered extensive injuries after a fall from a building, PC Quinn located and assisted the paramedics in immobilizing, extricating and performing CPR during transport.
  • PC Dimitrios Kritsotakis, PC Martin Tomaszewski were first on scene of a cardiac arrest call.  Upon the constables arrival they removed a man from the vehicle and began CPR.  Responding paramedics arrived shortly afterward and were able to restore the patient's heartbeat due in part to the quick actions of the constables.
  • Ellena Tsun, Kristy Blair and Eleonora Kolar as lifeguards recognized a patron in cardiac arrest. They initiated CPR and applied and utilized their Cardiac Safe City AED.  The patient had a successful recovery.
  • Special Constable Derek Anderson of the Toronto Community Housing Safety Unit witnessed an individual collapse into cardiac arrest.  He began CPR which resulted in the patient having a return of pulse.  His actions no doubt resulted in a positive outcome.
  • OPP Constable Robert De Lisi attended a single car accident on the 401 where he found the occupant unresponsive and not breathing.  He broke the window to gain access and began chest compressions on the patient.  Responding Paramedics felt the efforts of PC De Lisi were critical to the recovery of the individual.
  • PC Marie-Josee Fournier responded to a 47 year old male who collapsed, vital signs absent.  PC Fournier initiated CPR until relieved by other first responders.  Paramedics were able to resuscitate the patient with a positive outcome.


Citizens Awards:

  • Evone Keyork and Claire Cheron came to the aid of a person collapsed without vital signs.  Their recognition of the seriousness of the person’s condition and initiation of CPR contributed to the patient getting a heartbeat
  • Brandon Marini and Paul Hannigan while driving to work noticed a man lying on the sidewalk in distress suffering from a head wound.  They are recognized for their willingness to get involved, initiating a call for assistance and rendering aid
  • Steven Kakamousias and Corey Aubin while working on a construction site as roofers initiated CPR on a co-worker who collapsed without vital signs.  The patient regained a pulse prior to departing the scene.  Their co-worker has since returned to work in the roofing business.
  • Dr. Brian Budovitch witnessed a collapse at a golf course.  Brian initiated CPR and used an AED which resulted in a life saved and the golfer returning to the game in three weeks.
  • Lauren Miller, Sergei Timoshenko, Yaroslava Timoshenko, Qiao Wang and Alisa Yasnaya witnessed a boat crash into the shore.  They provided first aid to six injured boaters and pulled the boat to shore which allowed responding paramedics quicker access to the injured.
  • Ted Higginbotham while walking his dog responded to faint cries.  In a secluded area he discovered an individual who had fallen through the ice.  With assistance from two others, they used the dog leash to extricate the man from the freezing waters.
  • Olivia Cassar is a nine year old who assisted her Grandmother by relaying lifesaving instructions from the emergency medical dispatcher to initiate CPR when her grandfather had a full airway obstruction.  Her grandmother was able to clear the obstruction and get her grandfather breathing.  Olivia also opened the doors for responding Paramedics and comforted her 6 year old sister.
  • Jacques Hins is a retired Toronto Advanced Care Paramedic who responded to the neighbour complaining of chest pain.  The neighbour collapsed vital signs absent, Jacques performed CPR.  Paramedics were able to get a pulse back and the neighbour was discharged from the hospital.
  • Balazs Sandor, David Beloff and Kevin Stevens witnessed a vehicle crash on the 401, fearing that a fire would start, they extricated the patient and continued to assist paramedics as requested.
  • Sebastian Aquilera and Louie Barbieri witnessed a fellow worker collapse without vital signs.  They initiated CPR and utilized their company AED.  With further care from paramedics this individual's life was saved in great part to their quick actions.


Media Awards:

  • Dana Levenson CTV, covered the opening of 43 stationand reunion between 6 paramedics and the patient they resuscitated from sudden cardiac arrest.  Dana covered the emotional reunion and showcased the moment from the perspective of the patient, his wife and the paramedics.  Her coverage highlighted the skills that paramedics possess and use in their care of patients in the community.
  • Winston Shih, Dina Pugliese, Kevin Frankish and Janina Palhares from Breakfast Television broadcasted live a CPR/AED training event by the Toronto Paramedic Services Safe City Program.  This was a first for a Paramedic service in Canada.  They reported 300,000 viewers during the show.
  • Joanna Lavoie, the Beach Mirror, is awarded our Print Media Recognition for coverage of the re-opening of 43 station the reunion of a patient and 6 paramedics.


Toronto Paramedic Services Valour Award:

  • Gregory Mercer, Conrad Zeglinski, Nick Manos, Alvin Yuhalogarasan and Benjamin McLaughlin responded to a male overdose on cocaine and heroin.  The patient's behaviour quickly escalated to acts of aggression and violence.  These paramedics recognized the imminent risk to the elderly family members and began to remove them from the area when the patient grabbed a family member.  The paramedics fearing for the person's life freed the hostage and restrained the patient until police responded.  With the additional assistance of police the paramedics provided care to the individual.  Their actions prevented serious harm to the family members and prevented a hostage situation.
  • Angelo Nero, paramedic while off duty came across a motor vehicle accident on the highway.  Angelo discovered one patient who was already deceased when a fire began, without regard for his own safety, Angelo extricated an occupant of the car before flames had spread to the interior and provided care for the individual who had suffered multiple injuries.
  • Rory O'Neill, Paramedic Superintendent was attending a Paramedic station when he heard 6 gun shots and saw the muzzle flash.  Mr. O'Neill went into the panicked crowd to locate and retrieve an obviously injured male. It was unknown at that time if the injured male was an innocent victim or perhaps the 'shooter' when Rory moved the patient to the lockable Paramedic station.  Mr. O'Neill provided care while ensuring no one could enter the station until police could arrive and secure the scene.


Toronto Paramedic Services Merit Award:

  • Shawna Boden, Emergency Medical Dispatcher, was off duty when she witnessed two pedestrians struck by a vehicle.  She initiated a call to 911 while stopping to render aid.  Shawna found one victim to be conscious and breathing and the second patient was under the van and not moving.  She was able to extricate the second victim and initiated CPR until the paramedics arrived.
  • Sonia Contardi. Emergency Medical Dispatcher, volunteered her time to organize and run the 2016 Employees Children's Christmas party. She demonstrated dedication, caring and compassion in her work.
  • Sheree Hyrhor and Michael Roffey, Superintendents, are recognized for their hard work and dedication in obtaining a six-year accreditation for the Toronto Paramedic Services’ Advanced Care Program from the Canadian Medical Association's Conjoint Committee on Accreditation.  A prestigious recognition!
  • Gabe Ku, Field Training Officer, through research developed a system to record and track the acquired knowledge and teachings of our new recruits and revamped the new recruit mentorship book.  Gabe volunteered to continue work with new recruits to mentor them as they begin their journey with Toronto Paramedic Services.



Back to: City of Toronto