It’s that time of year again and I hope that many of you found this year better than the last. It is bittersweet to be writing this message as it will be my last holiday message as your Council President. When I sat down to put pen to paper, I was hoping to come up with an uplifting and inspirational message but I am not sure that I have the right words to lift you up or create inspiration this holiday season. However, what I quickly realized is that I may not have the words to inspire you, but you inspire me each and every day. This year I found myself heading back to the frontlines and I have watched practitioners from all over the province struggling to find happiness and purpose in their jobs. Despite the hard work and desire to create positive change in the profession, I recognize that it has still been tough out there. I hear you when you say no one seems to listen to your calls for help. And while I recognize your frustration, people are listening and positive changes are coming but effective change takes time. Despite the uncertainty of what the future holds and the fatigue of the crews, you again amaze me with how hard you work and how much you all care about the people that you treat. You come to work tired, hurt and defeated but still find the energy to help those who need it. You show constant compassion for everyone that you come in contact with and more than that, you lift your co-workers up, make sure they are ok and taken care of, even when you don’t have the energy to look after yourself. You are all truly the most dedicated and caring people I know.

I know at times it may not feel like it, however, I can tell you honestly that everyone at the College hears your concerns and we do what we can to help, we truly do. Each employee, from reception to the CEO, is working hard to make some sort of positive impact to our profession. Supporting all the office staff is Council. It is a collective group who want to make you feel supported and listened to whenever possible.  From the members and leaders that I joined with over six years ago, to the people around the table today, it has been an honour and a pleasure to work with each of you. They are truly remarkable and I know that I will be leaving you in great hands as I transition out in 2024. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that one day I would be President or even part of a group who pushed and pushed to make being a first responder easier, better and more reachable to so many more individuals. It has honestly been one of the greatest honours of my EMS career to be where I am today and to represent all of you.

George Patton once said that ‘Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom’. This quote is beyond inspirational to me as it really reflects where we are and where we should aspire to be as a profession. It is no secret that we have taken a big hit over the past few years and we all feel that we are at our lowest point and have hit rock bottom. I truly believe that this will be our greatest success; we will bounce and I have no doubt that it will be high. For all the reasons that I have already mentioned, you inspire me every day. Paramedics are some of the most dedicated and resilient people out there and even though we may feel like we are at rock bottom you always find a way to be more than you even thought was possible.

As we head into the holiday season and another new year, I want to thank you for never giving up, coming to work every day, taking care of those who need it and for treating others with respect and compassion in their time of need. You remind me daily of why I love this profession and why I couldn’t be prouder to be your President. Please stay safe, take care of your families and loved ones but most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Happy Holidays.

Travis Lanoway,