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Durham Heroes: Paramedics Kuypers, Bain honoured

Two Durham Paramedics – Petrus Kuypers and Trevor Bain – have been honoured by the provincial government for their exceptional courage.

The Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery was created to honour paramedics who have performed an act of exceptional courage. This year, 13 paramedics are being recognized for courageous actions. Award recipients were selected from nominations submitted in 2019 and 2020.

Paramedic Petrus Kuypers: On November 24, 2018, Paramedic Kuypers cared for a patient in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. The patient was experiencing mental health distress. He hurt himself lacerating his neck with a razor blade which he had hidden in his mouth. Paramedic Kuypers restrained the patient’s hand and struggled with him to gain control of the razor blade while calling for help. As the police boarded the ambulance and took over, Paramedic Kuypers fought to control the patient’s bleeding and continued to care for him until they arrived at the hospital.

Paramedic Trevor Bain: On April 3, 2019, Paramedic Bain and his partner responded to a call regarding two individuals who had complained about food poisoning. When they arrived at the scene, they quickly recognized that the patients’ symptoms were more severe than simple food poisoning and that the house was filled with carbon monoxide. Paramedic Bain first vented the place and then took two patients who were semi-conscious outside. Had he not been there to do so, the two patients would have succumbed to the noxious gas. The rest of the eight patients from the home were safely taken to the Toronto General Hospital.

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 Doug 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.”

“As we celebrate Paramedic Services Week in Ontario, I am honoured to recognize the 13 recipients who have shown exceptional courage in dangerous and often life-threatening circumstances,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “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 are being 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. “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.”

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