On Friday, July 19, Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Paul Raftis, Honorary Chief Major-General Richard Rohmer and Dr. Richard Verbeek, Director, Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, hosted a graduation ceremony at Toronto EMS Headquarters. Twenty-five Paramedics and six emergency medical dispatchers received their shoulder insignia and certificates at an event attended by family and friends.
The new employees are from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. In addition to speaking English, some are fluent in French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Farsi, Italian, Hebrew and Vietnamese. They hold a variety of undergraduate degrees including biology, sociology, neuroscience and kinesiology.
In addition to their university education, each paramedic completed a two-year college program as well as the rigorous four week Toronto EMS orientation program.
In his remarks to the new employees, Major-General Rohmer reminded the graduates that they were fortunate to be starting an honourable career of public service that would challenge them and also fill them with a sense of accomplishment. He added that the graduates should be proud of their ability to influence the course of events in someone’s life as they provided emergency medical care with professionalism and compassion.
All of the graduates began serving the residents and visitors of Toronto as early as July 20.