Can you share a little bit about yourself and what brought you to the role of Deputy Registrar with the College?

First of all, I’m honoured and excited to be stepping into this new role.

As for a bit about myself, I grew up in Manitoba and that’s where my EMS career started. I graduated as a PCP in 2010 and I was your typical new graduate entering the world of medicine wanting to make my mark on the world. From there I spent two and a half years working ground EMS and emergency medical dispatch. At that time, Manitoba didn’t have an Advanced Care Paramedic program so I moved to Saskatchewan to complete my ACP diploma.

After graduating, I moved back to Manitoba to continue my career. The ground EMS system in rural Manitoba didn’t have advanced care so I flew up north to work full-time in a few northern indigenous flying communities and did my medical air ambulance time there. At that time, I was also working part-time teaching PCPs and after a year and a half with that schedule I made the switch to full-time teaching and casual air ambulance.

In 2017, I decided I wanted to pursue leadership and began a business degree specializing in emergency services management. Nearing the end of my degree program, is when I started to turn my eye to a career in Alberta. It has always been the gold standard for EMS in Canada and everyone looks to Alberta as the leaders. In May 2019, I jumped at the opportunity to take a position in Grande Prairie as a Supervisor for AHS. It was my dream job and my first venture into what EMS looked like in Alberta. Right around the time the pandemic hit I was completing my degree and jumped into starting my master’s in business administration.

My husband’s career brought us to the Edmonton area and I accepted a supervisor role at AHS EMS that supported the mental health of our practitioners. I worked my way up to the manager position which was an important one for me as I did a lot of program development and frontline practitioner support. The reintegration programs were relatively strong for the Edmonton and Calgary zones but there wasn’t much support for rural zones. This is where I focused a lot of my efforts in increasing our utilization for rural zones.

In 2022, I completed my MBA. As a young woman in EMS, I focused my thesis on women in EMS leadership: What are the barriers to equal gender representation in out-of-scope leadership within AHS EMS. I feel incredibly passionate about this. We currently have an 80/20 split (80% male and 20% female) in our outer scope positions. It was at that point, I decided that was where I wanted to focus my career. I took an interest in administration, policy and regulation. I feel strongly that my background on the frontline and in leadership can help guide me to make a difference from the regulatory perspective.

As for some personal tidbits about myself, I spend my free time with my husband and son who was born last year. I love to travel and am a big foodie, so I love to try new cuisines from around the world!

 What made you interested in this job and are there specific goals you have going into this position?

When the job came up, I thought it was a great new opportunity which I could excel in. I have a strong interest in administration, policy and regulatory practice which is where I envisioned myself applying my MBA.

I also believe the College has done a solid job of building up their reputation and I am really interested to be a part of that and keep the momentum going.

What do you want the membership to know about you before stepping into the role of Deputy Registrar?

My hopes coming into this job is that you can give me a chance to show that I’m here to work for the people, the profession and to support the strategic priorities of the College.

My history working as provincial manager and interacting with many different folks across the province, in all the different zones brings with it some strong relationships. I hope that they feel confident reaching out to me and those nurtured relationships can collaborate well with the College.

And most importantly, as I step into this job, know that I bring with me an open-door policy. I want to hear from you. I want to hear your concerns, your successes and your suggestions. So often, it can feel like a one-way line of communication from the College to the members. I don’t want it to be just that, I strive for open-ended feedback. I get a large part of job satisfaction from talking to people and making sure that their voices are heard. The most important take I away I want the members to know about myself is to give me a call or stop by the office. I’m excited to meet you and hit the ground running to try and make a difference.

Rhea Bell, ACP
Deputy Registrar