This is true for paramedics Randy Block and Dave Marklund, who were partners for 30 years until Dave retired in May.
The pair first met in 1987 at a scuba diving shop in their hometown of North Vancouver; Randy was one of the diving instructors and Dave was a student. They became fast friends, connecting over a shared desire to become paramedics. Randy joined BC Ambulance in 1989, working out of Stn. 224 (Whistler), where Dave soon joined nine months later.
Over the years they moved together to several stations including in Lions Bay, Burnaby and West Vancouver until landing back in North Vancouver. They always stuck together. What began as a friendship based on common interests developed into a successful partnership built on mutual respect, trust and shared values.
The duo spent a lot of time together in their part-time years sitting in the station and, of course, countless hours in the ambulance cab. They often had post-call discussions to debrief and figure out how to improve "in the hopes of one day doing the perfect call," says Dave.
It became easier and easier to work together, Randy says. "Partnerships can be hard, especially when they change, so remaining partners seemed obvious. Plus, we had the same goal of getting a good spot on the North Shore - our home community."
They admire each other for their respect for paramedicine and strong work ethic. Dave reminisces: "Randy would show up for work on time, day in and day out. He looked sharp, respected his superiors and strived to say and do the right thing."
Randy says Dave studies hard, works hard and makes a concerted effort to perfect whatever he sets his mind to. "I've come across hundreds of paramedics over my career and Dave is among the best. Any paramedic who knows him will agree - his skills are rock solid."
Randy and Dave supported each other, watched out for one another and always had each other’s back. "It's the thousands of calls he showed he was looking out for me," noted Randy. "If I was about to do a bad lift, he would suggest a correction or read my frustration during a call and recommend some kind of change-up."
"I’m happy for Dave. It's the end of a 30-year partnership and will mean big changes for the both of us," Randy says. "We’ve been talking about retirement for years now, and he deserves it. I am not yet ready to retire. I will have to readjust, and that won’t be easy, but Dave and I will remain close. Of course."