May 25, 2015 at 2:58 PM
This week is National Paramedic Week. Over 3900 Paramedics serve over four million citizens of BC by land, air and water, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. I would like to take this opportunity thank all of the BC Paramedics for making the difference in our patients lives as we serve in our proud profession as Paramedics
In light of Paramedic Week, we would like to introduce you to some of your BC Paramedics who serve across our very vast Province. Stay tuned for some personal stories from Paramedics and insight into what we do and what's behind our uniform.
I am happy to introduce you to Annemarie Byers, who is the first of five BC Paramedics we are introducing you to this week.
Ambulance Paramedics of BC
CUPE Local 873
Annemarie Byers - Primary Care Paramedic - Lower Mainland
Joining the Paramedic service later in life wasn’t an easy decision. However, my family supported me through it all. Without their support I know I wouldn’t have made it. It’s hard to go back into the classroom after so many years; however, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
I remember waiting for my first call in the small town of Boston Bar, the anxiety mixed with excitement about starting a new chapter in my life. Eight years later, I’m no longer a part time paramedic in a small town, but a busy full timer in the lower mainland. Life is good! Kids are eight years older, graduated and entering into their own careers. Being a Paramedic is still something I love every day. It is a privilege to do what we do, meeting the public in their most vulnerable and intimate moments.
I’ve welcomed new babies into the world and held the hand of those taking their last breath. We attend all kinds of situations, some sad and some funny. The sad calls seem to stay with us longer and can have long lasting effects. Having a supportive family willing to listen to me and debrief helps those calls make sense. I remember holding the hand of a gentleman after his car had flipped over and landed on its roof. He was hanging half out of the car very quietly. As many other services were working on extricating him, I laid on the road, reached in and held his hand. He told me his name, physical injuries and asked me to call his family. It is times like these, where we are just there for our patients that make us appreciate life. While chaos is happening all around us, it’s these intimate moments that stay with you and you’re hopefully a source of comfort.