A paramedic has been arrested and charged with sexual assault following a complaint by a 71-year-old woman earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Rawdon RCMP received a complaint from a 71-year-old East Hants woman that she had been sexually assaulted in her home.

Police said paramedics had been called to the home last Sunday to provide treatment for a man living in the house.

While one paramedic examined the man, a second paramedic escorted the woman to another room where he said he was going to check her vital signs. The woman told police that's when the sexual assault took place.

Police later determined that the same paramedic had allegedly sexually assaulted the same woman on Sept. 1, 2012, while she was being transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

News of the charges have caught the Emergency Medical Care — the company that admisters the ambulance service in Nova Scotia — off guard. EMC suspended the paramedic.

"These alleged charges are equally upsetting for our other employees across the province," EMC said in a statement. "It doesn't not reflect the excellent patient care they deliver each and every day with integrity and compassion."

James Duncan Keats, 47, is facing two charges of sexual assault and two charges of breach of trust under the Criminal Code.