From the office of MPP Toby Barrett
To The Haldimand Press
Earlier this year, a Haldimand County paramedic was recognized by the Ontario Government for an act of bravery.
Paramedic Steve Laubach of Haldimand County Paramedic Services was presented the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery. This award was created to honour paramedics who have performed an act of exceptional courage. This year, 13 paramedics were recognized for courageous actions. Award recipients were selected from nominations submitted in 2019 and 2020.
On October 29, 2019, Laubach and his partner were sent to care for an unconscious patient. When they arrived at the scene, they witnessed a man lying prone on the garage floor beside a lawnmower, which was running in the locked garage, filling it with carbon monoxide. The paramedics broke the garage door window to enter the scene. The crew worked together to remove the patient from the toxic environment and ensure the unconscious patient was transported to the hospital.
“This is the second year in a row a paramedic from Haldimand and Norfolk has been honoured to receive the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett. “This speaks to the high quality of paramedic care we receive.”
Premier Doug Ford; Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries, presented the awards to 13 individuals in a virtual ceremony, honouring 11 recipients from nominations submitted in 2019 and two recipients from 2020.
“Paramedics are on the frontlines when it comes to protecting our communities and saving lives. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen paramedics performing incredible acts of service and generosity,” said Premier Ford. “From assisting with the vaccine rollout to alleviating hospital capacity by helping with home care, they have been here to support us every step of the way. On behalf of everyone in Ontario, I want to thank each of them for their service and congratulate this year’s winners of the Paramedic Bravery Awards. You are true heroes.”
“I am honoured to recognize the 13 recipients who have shown exceptional courage in dangerous and often life-threatening circumstances,” said Elliott. “Every day, and especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, paramedics have consistently stepped up to protect the health and wellbeing of Ontarians in their time of need. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of Ontario’s paramedics for their incredible work and for being there when your communities need you the most.”
The recipients were recognized for their individual acts of courage, including saving a swimmer from drowning, rescuing a trapped driver from a vehicle, delivering medical treatment to a patient in a confined space, and rescuing a mother and her two children from a residential fire.
Paramedics have played a critical role in Ontario’s fight against COVID-19, from conducting swabbing and testing, protecting health system and hospital capacity by supporting patient transfers, and they continue to support Ontario’s vaccine rollout, including administering vaccines to individuals who have limited mobility and cannot travel to a mass immunization clinic.
“I would like to thank Premier Ford and Minister Elliott for taking time to recognize the bravery of these paramedics who went beyond their call of duty,” said Peter Dundas, President of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs.
He concluded, “These paramedics put patients first and demonstrated fearless dedication to saving lives. They exemplify the virtues of this award and what it means to be a paramedic stepping up to serve their community every day. Congratulations to all.”