BC Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon was the event’s special guest, bringing kind words and a warm welcome to the recipients and their families who gathered at Surrey’s Sheraton Guildford Hotel ballroom.
After recognizing the Lt. Governor, BCEHS Executive Vice President Linda Lupini turned her remarks to the staff – those being honoured and all staff across the province.
“You work under tremendous stress, in challenging circumstances, often facing unprecedented demands,” she said. “Each one of you does this work with energy and expertise, with knowledge and courage, and most of all, with care and deep compassion.
“Whether you are helping a patient, responding to a major emergency, helping provide public safety services at large events, or giving back to your communities – I’m always impressed by the character of our staff,” said Lupini.
In addition to the long service award recognitions, a highlight of the afternoon’s proceedings was the two provincial awards given for exemplary service above and beyond the call.
A group of 31 dispatch staff and paramedics involved in a dramatic save, dubbed internally as the “Delta 9“, shared the Tony Sunderland Memorial Plaque in recognition of their dedication and loyalty to the BC Ambulance Service and a spirit of strong commitment to the needs of communities.
The incident happened one early morning in September 2016.Paramedics and dispatch staff handled nine overdose calls in the Delta area within a 90 minute period. The story of the young patients who all survived as a result of the high degree of skill and coordination was documented in the news media, and this award further recognizes those involved.
Next, the 2017 Chief Operating Officer’s Commendation award went jointly to paramedics Ron Glanville and Agnes Cayer, both of Vancouver.
This honour is given annually to a recipient for exemplary contributions that demonstrate outstanding achievement, illustrating outstanding personal and professional qualities that serve as an example to other employees.
Ron and Agnes provided a heroic response to a dangerous call in March 2017 in Burnaby. The two saved the lives of six people, quickly evacuating a house with high levels of carbon monoxide, despite both also feeling the ill effects of the poisonous gas.
Ron was also noted in the commendation for his subsequent successful advocacy for implementing carbon monoxide monitors on all emergency response ambulance vehicles.