Paramedic Association of Canada President’s Commendation Program

 

The Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), as part of its enhanced awards and recognition program, has developed a set of awards and uniform insignia, known collectively as the President’s Commendation Program.  The intention of the President’s Commendation Program is to provide an avenue for PAC to recognize deserving paramedics, and to create identifiable insignia associated with these awards to be worn by paramedics on their dress uniform or other formal occasions.

There are three different routes to receive commendation within the program; 

PAC President’s Award Commendation – Presented to all recipients of the PAC National Awards Program.

PAC President’s Commendation – Presented at the discretion of PAC President for sustained or significant contribution to PAC or the paramedic profession in Canada at a national level.

PAC President’s Commendation for Bravery – Presented to paramedics who demonstrate bravery by knowingly choosing to act in a setting of personal hazard.

 

The insignia consists of 1/2” tall PAC logo of blue star-of-life overlapping the red maple leaf placed over a 1 1/4” wide and 1/3” tall white bar.  The differences between the awards is identified by the colour of the award bar; white for President’s Awards, silver for President’s Commendation, and gold for Commendation for Bravery.

Wearing of the President’s Commendation is to be worn on a Paramedic service dress tunic on the left chest pocket pleat, beneath medals in accordance with the protocol approved by the Alliance of Canadian EMS Honour Guards.

If you know of a paramedic worthy of recognition by PAC or who has performed an act of bravery, please contact your regional PAC chapter representative.

 

PAC President’s Award Commendation

The PAC President makes the final decision on all recipients of the PAC Awards Program.  As such, all recipients of a PAC National Paramedic Award are automatically presented with a PAC President’s Award Commendation as part of the following awards;

  • Paramedic of the Year
  • Award of Excellence for Education and Training
  • Award of Excellence for Innovation and Research
  • Award of Excellence for Leadership and Community Building

This award insignia is a compliment to the formal PAC award and will be presented during the award ceremony. Selection of this award will follow the selection process of the PAC Awards Program.

 

Nomination Process:

All Canadian paramedics are encouraged to nominate deserving peers for the annual PAC Awards. The nomination process and nomination window is available on the PAC website.

 

PAC President’s Commendation

The PAC President’s Commendation specifically identifies and highlights individuals deserving of recognition by PAC. The awarding of this is at the discretion of the PAC President but is intended to recognize significant or sustained contribution to PAC or the paramedic profession in Canada on a national level.

The PAC President ultimately has sole discretion on who receives this award, however, all PAC Directors and elected Officers participate in identifying recipients.

The presentation of this award can be made by PAC Director or elected PAC Officer on behalf of the President can present the award.  It is accompanied with a letter signed by the PAC President outlining the specific reasons for commendation. 

 

Nomination Process:

All PAC members are encouraged to help identify potential recipients by contacting any PAC Director or elected PAC Officer to assist in the nomination process. PAC members with and endorsement from a local chapter director or officer submit a letter of support for the nominee (with optional fact sheet) to awards@paramedic.ca. The PAC Awards Committee reviews all information and if endorsed, forwards the information to the PAC President for final approval.  The nomination letter must contain enough information for the awards committee to be able to write a formal commendation letter on behalf of PAC and the President.

 

PAC President’s Commendation for Bravery

The President’s Commendation for Bravery is presented to paramedics who act in situations of personal risk. The minimum criteria for this commendation are based on the Governor General’s criteria for Medal of Bravery which states “…shall be awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.”1 This award should recognize paramedics who, at a minimum, consciously choose to act in a setting of known personal hazard or risk to their safety.

The award is primarily intended for actions that occur during the performance of duties as a paramedic, however, specific off duty cases may be considered. A paramedic that is responding as part of any official first response agency are considered “on duty” regardless if that agency is a formal paramedic service (i.e. a paramedic responding as part of a SAR team or disaster assistance team, etc. is considered on duty.). The recipient must be a “paramedic,” as defined through educational and professional requirements within each chapter. (i.e. PCP, EMT, etc.). However, they do not need to be a member of PAC to be considered.  The actions can occur anywhere in the world; however, the event or paramedic needs to have an obvious direct association with Canada to qualify.

This award can be made posthumously if death occurs as a result of actions worthy of recognition.  It should be highlighted that not every line-of-duty death should be automatically considered for this award. 

It should also be noted that situations that would reasonably occur in the performance of regular duties, for which the paramedic has appropriate training and PPE, is not considered hazardous. (i.e. Tactical medic involved in active shooter event, or SAR medic involved in a rescue situation). However, should the hazard or circumstances progress beyond what would reasonably be anticipated, then the criteria for personal hazard or risk can be met.

The presentation of this award will be made by the PAC President, or any PAC Director or elected Officer on behalf of the President. It is accompanied with a letter, signed by the PAC President outlining the specific actions taken by the individual worthy of commendation for bravery. 

 

Nomination Process:

Any PAC member should identify a potential nominee to any PAC Director or elected PAC Officer and assist them in collecting supporting information. Forward all supporting information surrounding the nomination to awards@paramedic.ca.  The PAC Awards Committee reviews all information and vote on whether to endorse a recipient and forward to the PAC President for final approval. There is no urgent timeline for this approval process. If endorsed, the Awards Committee will write the letter outlining the acts worthy of recognition. The letter will describe the acts using the terms bravery, courage, or valour as defined by the Governor General.1 Endorsed recommendations will be forwarded to the PAC President for the final decision.

 

It should also be considered that recipients be formally nominated for Canadian Decorations of Bravery through the Canadian Honours System.

 

Comments

Any questions about the PAC President’s Commendation program can be forwarded to awards@paramedic.ca

 

1 Office of the Governor General of Canada, “Decorations for Bravery,” (2015), retrieved from: https://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14955&lan=eng

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