BY KELLY ROCHE
Four Peel paramedics are being recognized by the Governor General for bravery and heroic actions while on-duty.
Sean Mason, Ean Smith, Eryn Smyth, and Jody-Marie Tansley were given the 2014 McNally Award, applauding acts of conspicuous bravery by paramedics in the performance of their duties.
The honours were bestowed at regional council on Oct. 22 by Major-General Richard Rohmer, Canada’s most decorated civilian and honorary chief of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs.
Smith and Smyth saved a critically injured Mississauga firefighter during an early morning blaze involving a number of explosions.
On April 23, 2014 Smith and Smyth were sent to Thamesgate Dr., near Pearson Airport.
Upon arrival they learned there was a general alarm call at a vacant building with reports of smoke. A large explosion sent debris several hundred metres in all directions shortly after, as firefighters were investigating.
Up to four firefighters were trapped and seriously injured as the paramedic crew was simultaneously caught in the fire and explosion area.
Crews determined Smith and Smyth could drive their ambulance between two buildings to access the injured firefighters.
They discovered one fireman was in critical, life-threatening condition.
The fire truck placed between the ambulance and the building began melting as several more explosions were engulfing the medics and their patients in heat, smoke and debris.
The duo quickly freed the critical firefighter and placed him in the back of their vehicle, immediately moving the ambulance to a safe location where Smyth could initiate emergency treatment — including needle decompression, a time sensitive, life-saving skill.
The other firefighters were triaged and treated until additional medics arrived on scene.
The crew continued care, transporting the critically injured fireman to hospital.
Smith and Smyth waited until he was safely transferred before revealing they were suffering from smoke inhalation, and were then treated in the emergency room.
All of the firefighters survived and are recovering.
Mason and Tansley, along with two Peel Police officers, rescued an injured patient trapped in a burning car while also attempting to extinguish the fire.
On June 28, 2014 they responded to a car-versus-pole collision at Erin Mills Pkwy. and Turner Valley Rd. in Meadowvale around 4 p.m.
A man, conscious with injuries, was in the driver’s seat and there was extensive damage to the car.
The car was beginning to catch fire, a bystander told them as paramedics approached.
One medic retrieved the fire extinguisher, while the other attempted to open the driver’s side door but was unsuccessful.
Working with acting police sergeants Stuart Proctor and J.P. Valade, they pulled the driver to safety by breaking his seat and extracting him through the rear driver’s-side door while bystanders tried extinguishing the fire, which had fully engulfed the engine compartment.
An officer and medic were treated for smoke inhalation. Their quick actions saved the man’s life.
Another six medics, who have rescued countless lives over their careers, were awarded the exemplary service medal: Supt. Tammy Middleton; Supt. Larry Titus; Verena Jones; Gord Nevils.
Glen Woodhouse and David Woodcock received special honours for serving the community for more than 40 years.
Approximately 1,750 of Ontario’s 7,000 paramedics have been awarded the exemplary service medal.