The second annual Paramedic Push made its way up Highway 26 Friday to raise money for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) advanced cardiac care program.
County of Simcoe Paramedics Services and RVH worked together to push a stretcher from the Edenvale Airport at 5195 Hwy. 26 in Stayner to the Simcoe County Administration Centre at 1110 Hwy. 26 in Midhurst, a 20.3-km, four-hour and seven-minute walk.
Paramedic Janel Perron has been a part of the event both years and walked alongside the stretcher, in full uniform despite the heat, with his team of 30 to 35 volunteers throughout the day.
“We’re not only wanting to raise awareness but also funds for the cardiac (catheterization) lab at RVH,” said Perron. “This is a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of paramedics as we see people all of the time either outside of the hospital while on a call or while on transfers from local hospitals to a cardiac cath lab, who direly need something closer. Right now the closest one is in Newmarket, and beyond that we have to go to Toronto, so it is really nice that there’s going to be one opening at the RVH that will bring much-needed care to a lot more people in Simcoe County.”
While on the walk, RVH representatives and paramedics were collecting money from people who would see the group of participants in bright yellow shirts and the couple of ambulances that were making their way along the side of the road.
Perron believes that while the Paramedic Push did great in its inaugural event last year, this year it can do better.
“Last year we raised just under $4,000, and this year the expectations have been heightened and I’m hoping we can get to about $5,000,” said Perron. “That said, I’m hoping for a lot more than that and I feel the community reaches out, knowing we’re so close to making this happen and knowing how much this means to so many people in the county.”
Anyone can ride the stretcher, with around five people from the community this year lending a hand. BarrieToday’s Shawn Gibson was joined by Team Canada Women’s Hockey and three-time Olympic medallist Haley Irwin, Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall, MPP Andrea Khanjin and County of Simcoe Paramedic Services mascot Siren, who all rode the stretcher throughout the day. RVH president and CEO Janice Skot said in a statement how important events like the Paramedic Push are in helping to grow health care in the region.
“Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is committed to ensuring residents of this region can get the care they need closer to home,” said Skot. “In early 2018, we opened the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program with two state-of-the-art catheterization suites providing diagnostic angiograms and, soon, scheduled angioplasties.
When it comes to the heart, ‘time is muscle’ and County of Simcoe Paramedic Services is key to ensuring timely, lifesaving cardiac care. RVH’s paramedic partners are further demonstrating their commitment to residents’ health care by raising awareness and funds for RVH’s cardiac program through the second Paramedic Push event.”
Donations can also be made online at foundation.rvh.on.ca/events/upcoming-events/paramedic-push.