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May 18, 2016
Toronto's new paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers welcomed at graduation ceremony today
Toronto's new paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers welcomed at graduation ceremony today

Forty new paramedics and 11 emergency medical dispatchers were welcomed to the service today at Toronto Emergency Services headquarters in North York. Mayor John Tory, Toronto Paramedic Services Honorary Chief Lieutenant-General Richard Rohmer and Toronto Paramedics Services Chief Paul Raftis presented graduation certificates and applied the Toronto Paramedic Services epaulette to the shoulders of each new employee.

“I congratulate all of the graduates honored today for successfully completing this important milestone in their noble profession," said Mayor Tory. "Every day, Toronto Paramedic Services staff demonstrate their professionalism in times of crisis. They are calm, compassionate and dedicated in the care they provide on our streets and in our homes."

"I am proud to welcome each one of you to this world-class service," said Chief Paul Raftis. "You have joined our service and this profession at a very exciting time."

New paramedics are hired having already completed at least two years of college training. They often have additional undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and working experience in other health-care professions and services. Emergency medical dispatchers complete an 18-week internal training program. Today's graduation is the culmination of these orientation and training programs.

This cohort of graduates will start working on the streets and in Toronto's central ambulance communication centre as early as tomorrow morning. The backgrounds of these graduates is as varied as the residents they serve with 33 per cent of the class speaking at least one language other than English. Almost 30 per cent of the graduates hold a university degree in addition to their two years of paramedic training. All 11 of the new emergency medical dispatchers have college diplomas or university degrees.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
Kim McKinnon
Toronto Paramedic Services



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