At a special ceremony on Friday, September 8, 2023, Essex-Windsor EMS celebrated and officially welcomed 88 paramedics hired since early 2020.
The paramedics, who were hired in 2020, 2021, 2022 and earlier this year, were formally congratulated as colleagues, members of Essex County Council and family members looked on at a Commencement Ceremony held at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor.
“These 88 – although they’re not all here today because some of them are out on the streets right now – they are to be thanked for their courage, their dedication, their professionalism and their commitment,” Chief Bruce Krauter told those who attended the ceremony.
“They joined a service, they joined a profession, they joined a system when it has been beaten to the bottom. They joined with little fanfare, little celebration and little acknowledgment, but today that changes. We welcome those 88 to the family of Essex-Windsor EMS with pride, honour and accolades that you deserve.”
Also taking part in the event were Essex-Windsor EMS administration staff, preceptors who provided orientation to the new paramedics and the mentors for each recruit.
Commencement ceremonies are normally held immediately after new paramedics have completed extensive screening and a lengthy orientation, but none were held from 2020 to 2022 due to the pandemic. During the ceremony, each new paramedic was presented with their epaulettes, a service medallion and a certificate.
Essex County Deputy Warden Joe Bachetti praised the new recruits for stepping up to work in the health-care field during a global pandemic and at a time when the system is under immense pressure. He lauded the “incredible skills” and important work done by paramedics.
“You are the ones who are the first to be called upon to provide life-saving care to those in need. You are the ones who are there for people during some of the most difficult moments of their lives. And you are the ones who are making a real difference in the world,” Bachetti told them.
“You have our deepest respect and admiration. We are honoured and excited to have you as part of our community, and we have no doubt that you will continue to make us proud.”
CUPE Local 2974.2 President James Jovanovic told the new paramedics the Commencement Ceremony was a chance to congratulate and say thank you for their hard work and sacrifices, “not only in getting here but also for the choice you’ve made to embark upon the career of being a paramedic.”
Professional Standards Captain Larry Trpkovski encouraged the new paramedics to “dream big” as they move forward in their careers.