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Paramedic for a day

Olivia Gater, 11, is exploring the world of paramedicine today after writing an award-winning essay that describes how essential paramedics are
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Advanced care paramedic Leah Emmerton is showing 11-year-old Olivia Gater - who won the Paramedic for a Day essay contest - what various specialized paramedic teams do. Laurie Watt/BarrieToday

Olivia Gater, 11, is exploring the world of paramedicine today.

She joined Simcoe County advanced care paramedic Leah Emmerton on her rounds in Barrie, after writing an award-winning essay that describes how essential paramedics are.

“Paramedics are essential to the community because they help people who need it,” she said, noting they respond quickly to accidents as well as to medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.

“Paramedics must quickly assess the situation, prioritize and take action – and do this in a split second,” she said in her essay, which she read to Simcoe County councilors at the start of National Paramedic Services Week.

Her essay won her a day of school, in which she’ll learn how to use public access defibrillators, as well as more about specialized paramedicine units, including hazmat and tactical teams.

She is learning more about ambulances, including the radio and lights, as well as discover what’s in a typical paramedicine kit.

It’s something that will come in handy as she looks at creating her own job when she finishes school.

“I want to be a veterinarian, but I want to do something different. I love working with animals and I’ve seen lots of animals come and go and a lot of my pets have needed emergency transportation. I’m thinking of doing an ambulance for animals instead of for people,” said the northern Innisfil girl who attends Kempenfelt Bay School.

Her essay impressed county politicians, including Warden Gerry Marshall – who commented “With an essay like that, you could be a politician. Great essay. Great job.”



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Laurie Watt

About the Author: Laurie Watt

A journalist with 35 years experience in newspapers, Laurie is also an active volunteer in Barrie.
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