Homegrown Paramedics

Written by on September 1, 2020

The Kahnawà:ke Fire Brigade is welcoming new full-time paramedics from the graduates of the homegrown KFB training program. David Scott is the Kahnawake Fire Brigade Chief is thrilled with the new hires:

“We originally started with 10 members in the program, we finished with 8, 3 have finished the program totally and have been put on ambulance, the other 5 still have a couple of small tests here and there to complete, to finish their certification and they will also be put into circulation to relieve the burden and stress on the 13 paramedics that are currently serving.”

10 Kahnawa’kehró:non embarked on the journey and Scott says that recrutements are on their way:

“We have 3 finished: Ashlan Phillips, Cheryl Zachary and Zoe McGregor, the other 5 still have portions of the final exam to do, it all comes down to coordination and timing. All of them have been on crews since the start of the program to gain knowledge and experience on the road, so they’ve all been on through the whole program. The 3 who have so far passed through are going to be put into circulation immediately.”

The idea for the homegrown course came from a lack of manpower. Tanner Phillips, the Quality Assurance and Medical Instructor at the KFB taught the course:

“We had the idea to have the program within our own community and taught by myself: we kind of went with that. There was a lot of help through council to pave the way to allow us to train our own and once we had the green light we just basically did a lot of research, looked at a bunch of different curriculums, based a lot of our program on the Quebec Model and covered all the core competencies that’s required by the Province and kind of went from there and developed our own and started.”

Quebec’s paramedics require a 3-year CEGEP program, a system that is not feasible for community members especially for those who already have full time jobs.

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