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December 19, 2002
New Honorary Chief, Major-General Richard Rohmer, presents Toronto Emergency Medical Services annual awards
Emergency Medical Services - Major-General Richard Rohmer was named
Honorary Chief of Toronto Emergency Medical Services at an investiture ceremony

As his first official duty as Honorary Chief, Major-General Rohmer presented
the Toronto EMS Annual Awards to paramedics, EMS staff, citizens and members of
allied services who have distinguished themselves in their bravery, initiative
and assistance to Toronto EMS.

"We at Toronto Emergency Medical Services are very honoured that Major-General
Rohmer has accepted our invitation to be our Honorary Chief," said Ron Kelusky,
Chief of Toronto EMS. "The investiture of such an accomplished and
distinguished Canadian as Major-General Rohmer as our Honorary Chief is a
wonderful thing for Toronto EMS and to have him here to present this year's
awards is really special. The paramedics and other EMS staff, as well as the
citizens and allied services who have been recognized here today, truly deserve
our gratitude for their commitment to life and to saving lives."

Major-General Rohmer was approached about accepting the role of Honorary Chief
of Toronto EMS in October in Chatham, where he presented Exemplary Service
Medals, on behalf of the Governor-General, to several Toronto EMS paramedics.

"It was a great honour for me to be asked to serve as Honorary Chief of Toronto
EMS. I have always had great respect for the very difficult work that emergency
medical personnel do," said Major-General Rohmer. "The commitment and
dedication that Toronto EMS paramedics and dispatchers show in their daily
effort to save lives is truly impressive. To be part of such an organization is
a real honour for me, as is being here today to present the awards to these
very deserving recipients."

"The investiture of Major-General Richard Rohmer recognizes his continued
commitment and contributions to the well-being of Toronto through advocacy and
support programs that promote healthcare, volunteerism and citizenship," said
Deputy Mayor Case Ootes. "The award winners are to be congratulated for the
tremendous contribution they make to the health and well-being of our residents
and our community."

Please see the backgrounder for details of this year's Toronto EMS award
winners followed by a biography of Major-General Rohmer .

Valour Award
The Valour Award is given in recognition of performance above and beyond the
call of duty as evident by an act of bravery.

Award winners:
  • Mike McCallion is receiving his award for rescuing a drowning victim from Grenadier Pond
  • Paul Lester and Jeff Wuebbolt saved a suicidal patient from jumping off of the 12th floor of an apartment balcony
  • Allister Keene helped save the life of an unconsciousness boater who was struck in the head by the mainsail boom. Allister and a police officer jumped from the police boat to the sailboat in a daring rescue attempt to rescue an unconscious patient in the rough water off Gibraltar Point in Lake Ontario.
Merit Award
The Merit Award recognizes outstanding initiative and meritorious execution of
responsibilities as a member of Toronto EMS.

Award winners:
  • Dave Chilton is receiving his award for assisting the crew of an overturned paramedic unit on Kingston Road, thereby preventing a potential vehicle hazard
  • Andrew Pirrie helped rescue a suicidal patient from jumping off a walkway overpass on Finch Ave
  • Elizabeth Glibbery is receiving an award for her commitment, dedication and loyalty to Toronto EMS

William J. Allen Award

The William J. Allen Award is presented in recognition of dedication and
commitment of personal time and service to Toronto EMS, volunteer organizations
or community service.

Award winners:
  • John Sheehan is receiving this award for his charitable work and assistance in raising funds for the 911 victims' families
  • Ric Rangel-Bron is receiving this award for his outstanding contribution to St. John Ambulance
Allied Service Award

The Allied Service Award is awarded to members of an allied service who display
outstanding assistance to Toronto EMS.

Award winners:
  • PC Karen Murray, PC Carl Braun and PC Thomas Hutton from the Toronto Police Marine Unit are being recognized for their assistance in a heroic rescue off Gibraltar Point in Lake Ontario with an unconscious boater who was hit in the head by a mainsail boom
  • PC Michael Burke assisted in the rescue of a suicidal patient from the walkway overpass on Finch Ave.
Toronto Transit Commission Award

This award is presented to Toronto Transit Commission Superintendent Millet for
the Commission's many years of support and commitment to Toronto EMS,
especially for assistance during World Youth Day events and provision of
vehicles for the Toronto Children's Breakfast Club.

Support Staff of the Year

The winner of Support Staff of the Year is chosen for outstanding service to
the public, co-workers and the community. All support staff are
  • Vanda Mackenzie has been chosen as the Support Staff person of the year for her hard work, dedication and loyalty to Toronto EMS.
Pioneer Award

All employees may nominate EMS Pioneers who contribute outstanding service to
the public co-workers and the community. All Pioneers (25 years of service
with Toronto EMS or age 50) are eligible.
  • Peter Patry is receiving the award for his dedication, commitment and loyalty to the Toronto EMS Honour Guard.
EMS Chief's Award

This award is being presented in recognition of dedication, commitment and
personal time in the development of innovative programs which augment and
improve service delivery.
  • Ray Ellis is receiving this award for the coordination and implementation of the automated book-on system for Toronto EMS
  • Sheree Hryhor is receiving this award for her contribution towards the certification of Toronto EMS during the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care audit process.
The Citizen's Award

The Citizen's Award is awarded to citizens who render outstanding emergency
assistance to Toronto EMS.
  • Kelly Wilson is being given the citizen's award for assisting 2 students who were struck by a car on October 2, 2002. With her MedVent experience with Toronto EMS, Kelly rendered first aid and comforted the patient until EMS arrived
  • Anna Dickson is receiving her award for assisting an elderly lady who was having serious medical problems. Anna blocked the car from moving and called 911 for assistance, thereby preventing a potential motor vehicle collision
Commissioner John Dean Award

This award, named in honour of former Toronto EMS Commissioner John Dean, is
presented to an individual or individuals for dedication in the advancement and
promotion of Toronto EMS.

The Commissioner John Dean award is presented to the following
  • Bruce Farr
  • John Lock
  • Norm Lambert
  • Alan Craig

Major-General Richard Rohmer


General Rohmer is:

Honorary Chief, Toronto Emergency Medical Services

Honorary Chief Superintendent of the Ontario Provincial Police

An Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Windsor

A Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM) (Chancellor 1978 ¡V 1989, 1996 ¡V1997)

A holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) A best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction books

A Member of the Order of Ontario (O.Ont) Military Editor Emeritus of the Toronto Sun

An Officer of the Order of Leopold (Belgium)(OfL) Former Commander of the Air Reserve Group of Air Command

A Knight of the Order of St. John (KSt.J) Former Chief of Reserves, Canadian Armed Forces (1978 ¡V 1961)

A holder of the Canada Defence Medal (CD) The Patron, St. John Ambulance, Toronto

A practising lawyer, Queen's Counsel (QC) Vice Chair, Collingwood Police Services Board (Chair 1996 ¡V 1997)


Richard Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He graduated from Assumption College (University of Windsor) and Osgoode Hall and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1951, LLB York University 1991. He was created Queen's Counsel in 1960, and was called to the Bar of the Northwest Territories in 1970. He is a member of the law firm Rohmer & Fenn, Park Place Corporate Centre, 15 Wertheim Court, Suite 503, Richmond Hill (Toronto), Ontario, L4B 3H7, (905) 763-6690, facsimile (905) 763-6699. In Collingwood: 32 Callary Cr., Collingwood, Ontario, L9Y 4Y1, (705) 445-3006, facsimile (705) 445-0967. His specialties are corporate land use, air and administrative law. Land use, OMB projects in which he has participated include Bramalea; Flemindon Park; Metro Centre (CN and CP) where the CN Tower and the SkyDome now stand; the siting and preliminary planning of the Ontario Science Centre.


He is a member of ADR Chambers, Canada's leading mediation and arbitration firm, where he specializes in Dispute Resolution in: the book industry; aviation, including airport and airline operations; military and police matters; television and radio; land use and development; and municipal affairs.


He was Vice-Chairman and CEO of Toronto Airways Ltd. Which owns and operates the important satellite airport Toronto-Buttonville; and was general counsel to the Armdale Group whose holdings include Toronto Airways Ltd. And major newspaper, radio and other corporate interests across Canada (1985 ¡V 1990).


He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hollinger Canadian Newspapers G.P. Inc. and Chairman of the Overview Group of companies. Former Board Member of Standard Broadcasting Limited; Northern and Central Gas; Association of Canadian Clubs (President); Mediacom Inc., Southam Inc.


He was Chancellor of the University of Windsor from 1978 to 1989. Doctor of Laws, University of Windsor (1975). Returned as Chancellor of the University of Windsor 1996 ¡V 1997.


Richard Rohmer was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Book Publishing (Ontario) 1970 ¡V1972, and was counsel to the Robarts Royal Commission on Metropolitan Toronto 1975 ¡V 1976.


General Rohmer is an on-air weekly commentator for the New VR TV of Barrie, CP24 Toronto and the New RO TV of Ottawa; and an editorial contributor to several Ontario Newspapers.



He is the year 2000 national winner of the prestigious Sam Ross Award for the "Best Television Editorial" by the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada.

He was the Military Editor of the Toronto Sun newspaper.


He is the best-selling author of:

Fiction Non-Fiction

Ultimatum (1973) The Green North: Mid-Canada (1970)

Exxoneration (1974) The Arctic Imperative (1973)

Exodus/UK (1975) E.P. Taylor (1978)

Separation (1976) Patton's Gap (1981)

Balls! (1976) How to Write a Best Seller (1984)

Periscope Red (1980) Massacare 747 (1984)

Separation II (1981) The Golden Phoenix: The Biography of Peter Munk (1997)

Triad (1981) Mustangs Over Normandy (1998)

Retaliation (1982) HMS Raleigh on the Rocks (2002)

Starmageddon (1985)

Rommel & Patton (1986)


Red Arctic (1989) Poems by A.H. Ward

John A.S. Crusade (1995) Practice & Procedure Before the Ontario Highway Transport Board

Death By Deficit (1995) Report: Royal Commission on Book Publishing (1972)

Caged Eagle (2002)

Work In Progress ¡V Fiction Borehole (2003)

He was 1984 winner of the Author of the Year Award of the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters.


Major-General Richard Rohmer began his military career in1936, serving in the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) at Eagle Rock High School in Pasedena, California. He served with the RCAF as a fighter-reconnaissance pilot during 1942 ¡V 1945. He took part in the D-Day Operation; served in France, Belgium and Holland, completing a 135 mission tour of operations in November of 1944. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. At 5:05 p.m. on July 17, 1944, while leading a section of four Mustang fighter aircraft on a low level reconnaissance, General Rohmer caught Field Marshal Rommel in his staff-car southeast of Caen and called in Spitfires that shot up Rommel's vehicle, seriously injuring the Field Marshal, taking him out of the Battle of Normandy. He served in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in 1944 ¡V 1948. In 1950 he returned to the RCAF flying Vampire jets and commanded the 400 Squadron (City of Toronto) and 411 Squadron (County of York) in 1952 ¡V 1953. He retired in 1953 as a Wing Commander. In 1971 he again associated with the Canadian Armed Forces as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel and later Honorary Colonel of 411 Air Reserve Squadron.


In April 1975, he was promoted to Brigadier-General and appointed Senior Air Reserve Advisor to the Chief of the Defence staff and the Commander of Air Command. On April 1, 1976, he was appointed Commander of the newly formed Air Reserve Group in Air Command. On January 31, 1978, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General and appointed Chief of Reserves of the Canadian Armed Forces. He was made a Commander of the Order of Military Merit in December 1978. He left the Armed Forces in February 1981.


Richard Rohmer is Canada's most decorated citizen. In August 1990 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is one of two persons who is both a Commander of the Order of Military Merit and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He holds the Jubilee Medal, the Centennial Medal, the Confederation (125 year) Medal, and the Canada Defence Medal (CD). In July 1989, he was appointed by H.M. King Beaudoin of Belgium to the Order of Leopold with the rank of Officer (OfL). In June 1997 he was appointed to the Order of Ontario (O.Ont) and is now a member of the Advisory Council of the Order of Ontario.



He is the Patron of the Toronto District Branch of St. John Ambulance, and a past member of the governing body of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.


He is the principal founder and past chairman of Don Mills Foundation for Senior Citizens Inc., which operates Thompson House, a charitable Home For The Aged, for 140 residents and Taylor Place, a senior citizens recreation centre, both of which are in Don Mills.


For his work throughout the high North he was given the Commissioner's Award for Public Service to the Northwest Territories in 1972.


His wife, Mary-O, is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ontario Museum and is on the Board of Campbell House, a project of the Advocates Society. Daughter Catherine Rohmer is a Barrister and Solicitor. Daughter Ann Rohmer is a television personality with City TV in Toronto.

Media Contact
Peter Macintyre,
Toronto EMS,

Larry Roberts,
Toronto EMS,



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