A web site launched this week by Alberta Health Services provides a way for Albertans to send messages of thanks to Emergency Medical Services paramedics who have helped them. The web site, www.thankaparamedic.com, allows the public to share messages of gratitude and appreciation for EMS staff who provide emergency care to almost 1,000 Albertans daily. By providing a few key details of an emergency event, patients and families helped by EMS can also choose to have their message shared directly with the paramedics who provided their care.
The web site was launched to coincide with National Paramedic Services Week. In Alberta, the week is dedicated to recognizing about 4,000 EMS paramedics, emergency communications officers and other EMS staff members who respond to 400,000 EMS calls a year. This year’s theme is ‘Our Family, Caring for Yours’.
“Alberta Health Services is immensely proud of its EMS family and the life-saving and life-changing care they provide every day. That’s why this web site was created,” said AHS Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck.
“By taking the time to say thanks and share stories, Albertans can show they are also proud of the men and women who dedicate their lives to saving ours.”
Sandbeck points out EMS paramedics often provide a patient’s initial medical care but seldom see the patient’s entire health care journey. Paramedics arrive, provide care, ensure the patient is stable or transferred into the hands of the right health care professionals, and then they leave to do it all over again, often without the patient knowing or having been given the chance to express their gratitude. AHS is regularly contacted by patients asking how they can thank those who cared for them or a family member.
“Our paramedics face trauma and tragedy and life-or-death situations every day with kindness, compassion and the utmost professionalism,” said Sandbeck. “I would encourage anyone whose life has been touched by the amazing work these men and women do to share a few words to recognize the vital role they play in the health care system.”