May 22-28 marks the 2016 National Paramedic Services Week, aimed at recognizing the outstanding work these men and women do in their communities.
Paramedics are always making a difference in people's lives, making the career inherently rewarding.
For Robert Sweeney, a Paramedic with South Suburban Rural out of Cochrane, the desire to help others started in high school.
"I started doing ride alongs on the ambulance back home in Kenora, Ontario and just got a real feel and love for the atmosphere and the environment that paramedics work in on a daily basis," he says. "I've been really enjoying it, I love the pace of it. I love getting out there and helping community members, probably not when they're having the best day, but being able to go in and maybe make that day a little bit better for them is quite a rewarding experience."
Sweeney received his EMT number in 2005, and has been a paramedic since November 2009; since then no day has been the same.
"Every day is different, that's one of the best parts about the job, we never know what we'll be doing."
There's been plenty of memorable calls for Sweeney throughout his career, but there's one that stands out from the rest.
"The one that really touched me was being able to deliver a baby in the back the ambulance, that was a pretty neat experience. We went from three people in the back of the truck to four. Having a little baby come out, and born healthy, the parents were ecstatic."
Sweeney adds having Paramedic Services Week is important to shed light to what the paramedics do on a daily basis.
"It's nice to be recognized by the community, the general public doesn't hear a lot about what we do, we're not in the newspaper a lot. I don't think the general public understands the scope of what we do, our skill set, and what we're able to do in the back of these ambulances, in the ditches, wherever we happen to be."