Two members of the Cochrane EMS Crisis Citizens Action Group (CAG) were moved by the dedication ceremony for the Alberta Fallen Paramedic Memorial Monument on the south lawn of the Alberta Legislature, June 14.

Several years ago, the EMS Foundation launched the Alberta Paramedic Memorial Project to create and install a permanent memorial in Alberta to honor fallen EMS members. 

“It was truly a moving experience as the nine names were read aloud at the ceremony," says CAG chair Brian Winter, who is a retired paramedic. "These paramedics gave the ultimate sacrifice serving the province and were killed on the job or WCB-related death. Their family kissed them goodbye as they left for work, never to see them alive again.”

dedication ceremony

Don Sharpe, also a retired paramedic and CAG consultant, praised the initiative of the EMS Foundation.

"It was a very somber and special event, an opportunity to honor the sacrifice of both the paramedics who died while serving and the families who survived them," says Sharpe. "The EMS Foundation deserves all praise for this beautiful memorial to Alberta's fallen paramedics, ensuring their memory is a blessing to all who visit here."

The Paramedic Guard of Honour was piped into the ceremony, that included a flyover by a tactical helicopter squad, the unveiling, speeches, and placement of wreaths.

Health minister Adriana LaGrange said Albertans own a huge debt of gratitude for the selfless service provided by these frontline medical responders.

"I hope this monument serves as an everlasting memorial for all fallen paramedics and a reminder that they are forever missed by family, by partners, by friends, by colleagues, by every Albertan and the profession as a whole," said LaGrange in closing. "We will never forget you. May God bless you all and thank you for what you do each and every day."

Tim Ford, registrar of the Alberta College of Paramedics says it's more than a structure of stone and metal.

"This monument serves to recognize the profound courage and dedication that paramedics exhibit every day," said Ford. "The fallen paramedics we honour today made the ultimate sacrifice in their commitment to serve others. Their selflessness and bravery will continue to inspire us and remind us that this profession we have chosen, while very rewarding, is not without an element of risk."

Winter and Sharp encourage people to see the monument for themselves.

Further names of the fallen will be added at a later date.

For over 25 years, the EMS Foundation has helped enhance health and safety in our communities by supporting pilot and education programs that help Alberta Paramedics. Foundation officials say these efforts would not be possible without generous donations of valued supporters. 

Chris SalmonEmcee Chris Salmon, past chair of the EMS Foundation and one of the three people spearheading the project.