This event honoured Chris's son, Zach Naples, for his role in an incident that has also inspired Zach to join the family business: the field of paramedicine.
Zach received the BCEHS Good Samaritan award
for his heroic actions at a serious multi-vehicle accident in September 2022 where he was a bystander. Good Samaritan awards recognize members of the public who provide unselfish and humanitarian assistance during a medical emergency.
At the time of the incident, Zach said he mainly acted on instinct. He knew that he needed to react and help control the scene. Afterwards, Zach knew he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a paramedic.
"I have to try this!" he remembers thinking.
Zach's newfound path has been met with great enthusiasm, and maybe, just a tiny bit, of an "I told you so" from his father, Chris.
In fact, Chris was inspired to become a paramedic after a similar experience. When Chris was six, he saw one of his neighbours fall off a roof. Young Chris watched the scene unfold as 911 was called and an ambulance arrived.
"That was the day I wanted to be a paramedic and I never wavered from it," Chris says.
Chris has been a part of BCEHS since 1996.
"I have done just about every job in the ambulance service – it has been an awesome journey," he says.
"Paramedicine has been a big part of our family's life and Zach has grown up around it," Chris noted, thinking back to the days when he would bring two-year-old Zach to the station and take pictures of him by the ambulances.
Since the multi-vehicle incident, Zach has completed his Emergency Medical Responder course at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. This course teaches the fundamentals of responding to trauma and medical emergencies and can be a basis for further studies in paramedicine.
Zach is now working on his Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) training. This will allow Zach to eventually become licensed as a PCP and provide life-saving interventions and pre-hospital care. You can learn more about different paramedic qualifications and career paths here.
Zach says he's most excited about the large scope of practice and in-depth critical thinking paramedicine can offer, but emphasized he's also drawn to the personal connection and impact paramedics have on the lives of the people they help.
Zach already made a difference when he sprang into action at the scene of the multi-vehicle incident, and now he's looking forward to a long career of saving and touching lives.