PEI

Islanders win 2 of 4 Paramedic Association of Canada awards

The Paramedic Association of Canada gave out awards in four categories in Quebec City over the weekend.

Kelly Williams and Dr. Aaron Sibley were award recipients

Kelly Williams won the first ever Paramedic Association of Canada Paramedic of the Year award this weekend. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

The Paramedic Association of Canada gave out awards in four categories in Quebec City over the weekend, and Islanders won two of them.

2017 PAC Paramedic of the Year was awarded to Kelly Williams, and the Award of Excellence for Innovation and Research went to Dr. Aaron Sibley.

Williams has been an advanced care paramedic with Island EMS for 21 years, as well as a volunteer firefighter for 20.

At the end of the day I just do what I can to help people out and I work with an incredible team of paramedics. It's unbelievable what we have here in little P.E.I.- Kelly Williams

She was named Paramedic of the Year in P.E.I. in May, but recognition on a national level came as a surprise.

"I didn't think in a million years that I'd ever get that," she said.

"When I got a phone call from the Paramedic Association of Canada telling me that I won, I was pretty humbled by that."

'Pretty amazing'

Williams said that being a paramedic in rural P.E.I. can be difficult because sometimes she knows the people she's treating, or their loved ones. But that's just part of the job.

"At the end of the day I just do what I can to help people out and I work with an incredible team of paramedics. It's unbelievable what we have here in little P.E.I.," she said.

"I'm pretty proud of it."

She said that she doesn't receive a lot of "thank you's" from her patients, and she doesn't expect to.

"The only reward at the end of the day is if you can help someone and make someone's situation better than you found it," she said.

"A thank you on this magnitude is pretty amazing."

'I love my job'

Winning the award still hadn't sunk in for Williams after arriving back on the Island Sunday.

"Being recognized like this is pretty amazing, I don't really know how to describe it," she said.

She was grateful to her manager for giving her the time off to go and accept the award but is ready to get back to her job in a few days.

"I'll just hop back into the uniform and do it all over again, get right back to work," she said.

Williams says she loves what she does.

"It challenges you, every day it challenges you, you always have to learn and change and adapt," she said.

"I'm really lucky that I can get up every day and say I love my job."