December 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM
B.C. Ambulance Service works as a family to assist yours
Local heroes come in many shapes and forms.
A few influential members of the Comox Valley that come to mind include Mounties, Firefighters, as well as our men and women at CFB Comox.
There's at least one other group of men and women who give to the community 24/7.
The Paramedics and Ambulance Workers of the Comox Valley.
Often they're the forgotten faces behind emergency calls.
The ambulance service in the Comox Valley covers a broad area, including Mt. Washington and Black Creek.
Bob Perry is the Courtenay Unit Chief, for the B.C. Ambulance Service. Perry explained most of the paramedics working here in the valley, were born and raised right here.
"In the valley we have 11-full-time paramedics and about 15 more in our part-time ranks who are pulling full-time hours. The work requires a person that has a lot of compassion."
The ambulance service is like a family. They always ride two to a vehicle, and work together closely on everything from patient care to handling their own domestic duties.
"Somebody always has to be there 24-hours. It's a balancing act between home and career. These people have families too," explained Perry.
People who are in this line of work take on additional commitments, just like other occupations such as the police, firefighters, military and hospital workers.
Perry recalled stories from his earlier days, when his career and family were beginning to take shape.
"I would always switch shifts with other people so I could make Christmas dinner, or be around for the kids on Christmas morning. There's such a camaraderie with our staff."
Perry added "By helping each other out we can spend time with our families and still be there for the community as well."
"It's a rewarding type of work. We walk away with a sense of pride from putting a smile on someones face or helping out somebody. It works both ways, we give to people and the people give back to us."
Most of the paramedics in the Comox Valley have been working in this line of work for years. They know the stresses and cope with them well.
"Most of us have spouses who understand the type of work we do, they do their best to help us work around stress we get from time to time."
Without hesitation, Perry added, "We've got a bunch of good people here. They manage their lives and responsibilities to the people in the valley really well."