'Thank you for your service': Tearful last call for slain EMS dispatcher Laura Grant
Grant was shot and killed at her Burlington home on August 21
A final call for paramedic dispatcher Laura Grant echoed across the Halton EMS radio waves Friday.
"This is a last call," stated Halton Region Paramedic Services deputy chief Peter McMurrough, after calling for her three times by her number — ACO 86377.
Last call for Ambulance Communications Officer Laura Grant. Thank you for your service, may you rest in peace. We will take it from here. <a href="https://t.co/ypmBwXAXB4">pic.twitter.com/ypmBwXAXB4</a>—@ChiefGSage
"Laura was more than a colleague, she was a mentor, an advocate and a friend. Her legacy and her memory will never be forgotten," he added.
"Thank you for your service. May you rest in peace. We will take it from here."
Grant, 57. was a former paramedic and worked as a dispatcher for the Halton and Peel ambulance services before she was shot and killed at her Burlington home on August 21. Police have arrested her husband, 57-year-old Kenneth Soederhuysen, for first-degree murder.
It's a death that rippled through the close-knit world of first responders. On Friday they honoured her with a tearful final call.
"When somebody leaves the service there's typically a last call," explained Dave Wakely, president of OPSEU local 277, which represents paramedics in Peel. "They happen on happy occasions when people retire and they happen on sad occasions when members who are still in service pass away."
A video of the call coming across the radio was shared by the OPSEU 277 Twitter account.
Tearful last call for Mississauga CACC dispatcher and former paramedic Laura Grant. <br>Laura was murdered on August 21st. <br>Today we grieve as one family for this senseless loss. <a href="https://t.co/St3KUaQWzs">pic.twitter.com/St3KUaQWzs</a>—@OPSEU277
"Today we grieve as one family for this senseless loss," it stated.
Sometimes referred to as end of watch call, the tradition is recognized by different branches of emergency services as a way to pay their final respects.
When someone is no longer alive, the custom is to call them, then sign off the air, said Wakely.
"This is tragic. It is not something we ever want to do, but it is a way of showing our respect and largely it's a way for the people who are at work doing the work that still has to go on, to acknowledge her passing."