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Local Legends: Helping paramedics help the community

Spotlighting paramedics Christos Constantinou and André Mollema.

With this weekend celebrating First Responders Day, CityNews Ottawa is spotlighting two local heroes from the Ottawa Paramedic Services.

And those at centre stage for the May 1 celebration are Christos Constantinou, advanced care paramedic, and André Mollema, public informations officer.

A typical day for the EMS workers starts like any other for employees in Ottawa: get to the office — or in this case, headquarters.

From there, the paramedics will make sure they have all the gear they need for the day, then head out to their ambulance to wipe down the truck and the equipment inside.

Once they’re ready to go, they’re sent out. The post they’re sent to depends on how many ambulances are available at a given time. The system here, they explain, is to maximize coverage of all areas.

Despite three years of college, placements in hospitals and on the road, the application process for the service and more training and orientation to become a paramedic, as the EMS workers put it, it’s a job where “you’re always going to be learning.”

It’s a hectic job, to say the least, so there are things we — as the public —  can do to help make their days easier, the two say.

When placing a call, be honest when answering questions.

“Help us best help you and keep everyone safe,” they say.

Follow guidelines from public health by wearing a mask, washing your hands and keeping your distance.

“The more we can prevent the spread of COVID, the quicker we go back to normal.”

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