Monday October 26, 2009
Tema Conter Memorial Trust: Helping Canada's Paramedics
This week, WCBA devotes an entire episode to the disturbing problem of violence against paramedics.
They’re the first people to arrive on the scene; often before police and fire crews have arrived. All too often, emergency services personnel experience violence at the hands of patients as well as bystanders. On the job violence is a regular occurrence in big cities as well as rural settings across Canada.
The impact of violence on paramedics can be devastating. We’ve spoken to medics who’ve battle depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some have quit their jobs or tossed aside years of seniority to escape the almost banal routine of violence that seems to occur in places like Toronto, Regina and Vancouver.
Vince Savoia was an attending paramedic at the murder scene of Ms. Tema Conter, who in 1988 was killed in a random act of violence on the streets of Toronto. Rather than sink into despair, Savoia decided to dedicate himself to honouring the memory of Ms. Conter in a beautiful and meaningful way.
He co-founded the Tema Conter Memorial Trust to help end the silence and ease the suffering of paramedics burdened by the quiet, daily struggle to deal with the physical, psychological and emotional effects of their jobs. The trust was founded to improve the understanding of Acute and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This goal is accomplished through research and public education, as well as the granting of scholarships, media and public service awards.
Later on this season, White Coat Black Art will broadcast a feature interview with Mr. Savoia, in which he recounts his struggle with PTSD and that of his colleagues.
Click on the link to learn more about the Tema Conter Memorial Trust