Chief paramedic honoured
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
Mike Nolan is the 2012 recipient of the Richard J. Armstrong Leadership Award.
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
November 7, 2012
Renfrew County chief paramedic Mike Nolan is the 2012 recipient of the Richard J. Armstrong Leadership Award.
Nolan accepted the award, which is presented annually at the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs Conference, Sept. 27.
Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Mayor Janice Visneskie, as the county’s health committee chair, commented about the award during the Oct. 31 session of county council.
She attended the ceremony at the Ottawa Conference Centre where Nolan and Visneskie were both pleasantly surprised to hear who the award winner was.
“Because I’ve had the pleasure of working with him, as chair of the health committee, I’ve seen that he’s always working for the client,” said Visneskie. “Everyone can do their job, but when someone steps forward to do that extra, you notice.”
Not only that, she says Nolan has helped put Renfrew County on the map, the evidence being local programs that have been copied elsewhere.
Progress made by the county’s paramedic service includes expansion of deployment numbers to decrease 9-1-1 response time; the advent of a community paramedic model that includes wellness clinics; public access to defibrillators across the county; the establishment of community single-member response units; the introduction of advanced care paramedics to staff; and improvement in the quality of ambulances driven by the paramedic service.
The 41-year-old Pakenham resident will receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal later this month. He has also received a Governor-General award for exemplary service.
Nolan has been the county’s chief paramedic since 2005.
The Richard J. Armstrong Leadership Award is named after the founding president of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs, which was originally called the Association of Municipal Emergency Medical Services of Ontario. The award is in recognition of outstanding leadership and significant contributions to emergency medical services in Ontario.
“I think the greatest recognition is that of your peers who understand the responsibilities of the job,” Nolan said after the council meeting.
“To be recognized by them is a great honour and a privilege.”
Brian Leahey, deputy chief of Renfrew County Paramedic Service, says the award is well deserved.
“It’s given to people,” said Leahey, “who are forward-thinking in terms of how to best provide paramedic services to the public that we service, through innovative programs, through continuation and expansion of the deployment that we currently have in place, and through recognition of a broad base of understanding of paramedic service both provincially, federally and internationally.”
As fellow graduates of Algonquin College’s paramedic program in 1991, Leahey has had plenty of opportunity to see Nolan in action.
“If I was to summarize what makes Mike a leader, he understands the requirements that we are facing,” said Leahey. “But he also has great vision as to what the future needs.
“Another great aspect of his leadership is that he’s able to drive that change forward.”
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