October 2, 2003

York Region celebrates Advanced Care Paramedic graduates

NEWMARKET - York Region Emergency Medical Services celebrated the graduation of 33 Advanced Care Paramedic training program graduates in a special ceremony today in the York Regional Council Chambers in Newmarket.
An Advanced Care Paramedic, in addition to holding the qualifications of a Primary Care Paramedic, has additional training and certification to deliver further, potentially life saving procedures to their patients. Currently, 56 Advanced Care Paramedics provide care in York Region.
"When York Region assumed land ambulance operations in 2000, Regional Council made a commitment to establish an Advanced Life Support program, including the training of paramedics to the Advanced Care level," commented Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO. "The value of this investment will be abundantly clear each and every time a York Region Advanced Care paramedic cares for one of our residents in need."
"The services that our paramedics provide make a difference every day," said Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the York Region Health and Emergency Medical Services Committee. "With the Advanced Care Paramedic program, residents can be assured that they will receive the most advanced standard of care available quickly, responsively, compassionately and professionally."
"By completing this challenging program, our graduates have shown a commitment to both their professional and personal growth," added Brad Meekin, General Manager of York Region Emergency Medical Services. "This commitment is key to our success in providing advanced emergency medical care to York Region."
All Primary Care paramedics with one year full-time experience are eligible to apply for the Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program. The training involves seven weeks classroom instruction, seven weeks of hospital rotations and twelve weeks of field internship. This is followed by a series of written and oral exams with both the course faculty and the York Region Base Hospital Program. Once this has been completed, the new Advanced Care Paramedic can practise in the field. During the first four months of practise, the new ACP is placed with an experienced ACP to function as mentor and coach.

Once certified, an Advanced Care Paramedic is able to deliver additional procedures to their patients, including:
 intubation (inserting a tube directly into the lungs to assist with breathing)
 intervenous therapy (inserting a direct line into the bloodstream for medication administration and replacement of fluids)
 administration of an additional twelve medications, and
 external cardiac pacemaker therapy. 
The Advanced Care Paramedic program is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association, is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health, Emergency Health Services Branch, and meets all the requirements of the 2001 Canadian Medical Association National Competency Profile.
Last year, York Region EMS responded to approximately 75,000 calls, providing basic and advanced life support, emergency and non-emergency medical care and transport of the ill and injured.  Approximately 300 paramedics and support staff provide Emergency Medical Services to the Regional Municipality of York through the deployment of up to 24 ambulances, four Paramedic Response Vehicles and 2 Supervisor Response Vehicles.
For more information about York Region Emergency Medical Services, visit www.region.york.on.ca.

Contact:   Kim Clark, York Region Health Services
905-830-4444 ext. 4101
Regional Municipality of York

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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