For quick thinking on the job, Ottawa Paramedic Robert Wilson was honoured in Vancouver Thursday night with the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation’s Legends of the Call Award.
Wilson was given the prize for responding to a call at a fitness center where he and his partner found a man wearing a MedicAlert bracelet had had a seizure.
“After a person has a seizure, they’re confused and tired,” Wilson said. “It was the first time my partner and I used MedicAlert’s information system. We called their call center and got all the information we needed about his medical history.”
Wilson said that everyone with a major medical issue should have a bracelet so that first responders know what to do.
A 20 year paramedic veteran in the city, Wilson said the hardest part of his job is the pediatric calls he gets. “You deal with so much human misery, but you have your friends and family to turn to,” Wilson said, noting his family has been a big support.
In all his years working in the city, one call that stands out for him was when he and his partner Jill deBoer resuscitated a woman whose heart had stopped.
“We took her to the heart institute,” he said. “About a year later I got a letter from her and her husband saying that they were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary because of us. So that one’s special to me.”
Out on the road everyday, Wilson said he and deBoer respond to every call in the same way.
“The fact that I got recognized for it is a great honour,” he said. “But everyone gets the same kind of attention and care from us.”