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Peel Paramedics Encourage Citizen CPR, Recognize SUBWAY Employees for Heroic Efforts

On November 6, 2015, Peel Paramedics of OPSEU Local 277 hosted an event recognition of the brave efforts of two SUBWAY Canada employees.

This past July, franchisee owner Faisal Elahi and employee Ibrar Azhar performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a patron who went into cardiac arrest in their Queen St. S restaurant in Mississauga. Unfortunately, despite the quick response and tireless efforts of the two employees, Ralph Faustino, better known as “Streetsville Jason”, did not survive. Faustino was a beloved member of the community, and is greatly missed.

Peel Paramedics’ aim is to continually promote citizen CPR. Although it is not successful in all cases, they encourage all people to try should the situation arise.

In honour of their courage, plaques of recognition were proudly presented to Elahi and Azhar at 115 Queen St S, in Mississauga, ON. Dave Akelaitis, one of the responding paramedics, along with a representative from SUBWAY Canada were also present.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 40,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in Canada. That’s one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes. Without rapid and appropriate treatment, most of these cardiac arrests will result in death.

Statistics show that as many as 85 per cent of all cardiac arrests occur in homes and public places; that means only 15 per cent occur in the presence of trained medical personnel.

Although there are a number of reasons why people may not be actively seeking CPR training – poor incentives, lack of motivation, inconvenience of having to leave the house for classes, cost of classes –the odds of survival for a victim of cardiac arrest are almost four times greater if bystander CPR is administered.

To find a CPR/First Aid course in your area, please visit: www.heartandstroke.com

Casey House Cheque Presentation

On October 2, Casey House in Toronto, Canada’s first freestanding HIV/AIDS facility welcomed Peel Paramedics for a cheque presentation and tour.

Paramedic Beth Margolis and Elvis Silva presented the cheque on behalf of the members of the Peel Paramedic Union OPSEU L277 to Casey House’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Victoria Van Hemert and Steven Endicott, the Chief Development Officer.

With support of Peel Paramedic Union, OPSEU L277 , the tireless dedication from Paramedic Elvis Silva, Paramedics, Police Officers, Nurses, Doctors and others contributed by buying pride t-shirts.

The sale of the shirts raised $2000 for Casey House.

Following a heartfelt speech by Elvis Silva and the donation of the cheque, Stephen Endicott then led the group of Peel Paramedics, which included Dr. Michael Fanous, George Wyles, Brad Bowie and Wade Macpherson for a tour of the grounds – which included a sneak-peek of the current construction of the new Casey House!

A warm thank you goes to our wonderful hosts Victoria Van Hemert, Stephen Endicott and Senior Development Officer Tracy Hatten, for showing us an intimate perspective on your important work. We look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Speech written by Elvis Silva

Good morning,

My name is Elvis Silva and I am a paramedic with the Region of Peel. I am very honoured to be here this morning and have the opportunity to speak to all of you.

I want to start off by highlighting the act of compassion.

Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desireto help. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual or emotional hurts or pains of another. This is very much what Casey House and Paramedics from around this province and country have in common and can share in. We work each day to not only show compassion but to feel compassion towards those who are suffering and need those helping hands, guiding words, or be a comforting presence in their lives. Compassion is so short in supply and yet so desperately needed by many.

Founded by a group of volunteers in 1988, Casey House was Canada’s first stand-alone treatment facility for people with HIV/AIDS, and the first free-standing hospice in Ontario. At that time, many people were dying alone, cut off from the support of family and friends because of the stigma and misplaced fear. Twenty-five years ago, on March 1, 1988, the doors of Casey House were opened thanks to the pioneering compassion and courage of many volunteers that still stands today. In other words, Casey House has been a prime example of our community’s unsung heroes.

This year I had an incredible and unique opportunity to take part in the Gay Pride Event in Toronto representing the Region of Peel Paramedics. Part of this role was to organize the float, and paramedics who wanted to march, and also to raise money through the selling of t-shirts to all of our allied resources including police, nursing staff, physicians and other paramedics all in support of this cause. In total we were able to raise $2000.

Through the collaborated effort between myself, the Region of Peel Paramedics and OPSEU Local 277, we all unanimously decided for Casey House to the recipient of this donation.

Paramedics work with and experience the pain and suffering endured by HIV/AIDS patients each and every day. Although many new advances are happening in HIV Prevention and treatment we still face and will continue to face a long battle ahead. Together as a team we much collaborate and work together to show the very compassion that Casey house has exhibited since their doors opened many years ago.

I am personally and professionally honoured to present Casey House this donation as a thank you and a show of appreciation from the Region of Peel Paramedics and many other front line workers who witness and share suffering of many. These efforts do not get recognized or appreciated often enough and yet the impact it has on those who are in need is almost impossible to describe.

Thank you again for everything that you have done and continue to do for so many.

Paramedic Services Week Appreciation BBQ 2015

Paramedics Make the Difference

Monday, May 25th marked the start of Paramedics Services Week, and there was no better way to kick off the appreciation for our loyal paramedics than by hosting an Appreciation Barbecue.

Peel Paramedics from Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga gathered at the Peel Paramedics Services Tomken Station in Mississauga for a delicious bite to eat and an opportunity to catch up with colleagues under the sun.
The event also honoured ten dedicated retirees, whose years of service are not only appreciated, but honoured and applauded.

Appearances were made by the Chief, the Commissioner of Health and even “Andy the Ambulance,” who was a big hit with the lucky little ones who roamed and made new friends.

Paramedics Services Week gives people an important opportunity to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate our profession. We are the hardworking paramedics whose loyalty and devotion to the residents of our cities must not go unnoticed. We are the emergency medical team people call when they are in a crisis. We are those on the frontlines that not only have the training, but the heart to persevere in any given situation. Though this particular week is dedicated especially to us, we must not forget that we are truly heroes 365 days of the year.

The barbecue was put on by the Peel Paramedics Association, Peel Regional Paramedic Service (PRPS), and the Peel Paramedic Union, OPSEU Local 277. Special thanks to everyone who attended the event and showed our paramedics the appreciation they deserve.

Toronto Pride 2015