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Helping people through emergency situations all in day’s work for paramedic


April 2020 Share with   facebook   twitter

Update
 
This story was written in January 2020. In April 2020, Devin provided this update amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

These challenging times are testing our collective resilience and ability to adapt and overcome, they also provide opportunities for hope, love, and courage. When faced with such adversity, it is important to listen to our public health leaders and follow their directives. They are experts in keeping communities safe and healthy.
 
It is equally important to continue treating each other with kindness and respect as we all navigate this new reality. Showing kindness to one another helps ease the burden each of us bears and brings joy forward when the world most needs it.
 
MedicAlert plays a crucial role in keeping people safe, even when at home. MedicAlert provides quick and easy access to one’s medical information which is vital in an emergency.
 
Devin Reynolds, Flight Paramedic, Ornge
Paramedic Devin Reynolds

Helping people through emergency situations all in day’s work for paramedic


“When we’re faced with the challenge of not knowing what’s wrong, there are risks that come with that. That’s when MedicAlert makes a world of difference,” – Paramedic Devin Reynolds

For paramedic Devin Reynolds, there is no easy way for him to describe a typical day. Every day is different with no predictability from one to the next, driven entirely by the nature of the day’s emergencies. One call may take him to help a youth in mental health crisis and less than an hour later he could be helping a senior with a chronic medical condition. Sometimes they have to transport the person to the emergency department and other times minor first aid, insight and support is all that’s needed.
 
“We are meeting people wherever they are and helping them through a difficult situation,” says Devin, of the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service, adding that on any given day he and his partner respond to between four and 10 emergency calls. “We are not usually there on someone’s better days.”

Devin was in high school when he realized what he wanted to do most was help others—a desire he extends beyond his regular job duties. In late summer 2019, he travelled with 12 other medical professionals to Abaco, Bahamas as a member of Humanity First Canada’s disaster response team, to support the local medical clinic through the aftermath of hurricane Dorian. For two and a half weeks, he aided clinic staff as well as helped restore the physical building, hydro and running water.
 
“It is a privilege to serve others, particularly in such an intense situation,” says Devin. “I returned home with a rejuvenated desire to help others who are less fortunate than myself.”
 
Sometimes [people in intense situations] are unable to explain what’s wrong or even share their name. In situations like these, Devin is always relieved if he sees they are wearing a MedicAlert ID.

“Whether they are confused, have an altered level of awareness or are even unable to answer questions, MedicAlert provides us with great insight so that we don’t have to ask questions about past medical history or medications. We can look for it, see what’s written on it and, if we have further questions, can call the Emergency Hotline,” says Devin. “It makes our ability to care for the patient that much easier and hopefully results in better outcomes for them.”
 
“When we’re faced with the challenge of not knowing what’s wrong, there are risks that come with that. That’s when MedicAlert makes a world of difference,” – Paramedic Devin Reynolds
 
In May 2018, Devin had just that experience. On that day, he and his partner responded to a call on a busy London street. There was a lot of traffic that day and an elderly man had fallen and hit his head. When they arrived, the man was so confused he didn’t even know his name or where he was. Devin saw the MedicAlert ID on the man’s wrist, which stated that he lived with dementia. Devin immediately called the MedicAlert Emergency Hotline, found out his name, how to get in touch with his wife and that he was also taking a blood thinning medication — vital information for the doctors who later treated him in the hospital.
 
“We didn’t have had other way of identifying him because he didn’t have any personal identification on him,” says Devin, adding that knowing about the medications meant that doctors knew what type of treatments or medications they could and couldn’t use. “It’s kind of a scary thought to think about what could have happened to him if we didn’t know that information.”
 
What happened that day led to Devin being awarded the 2019 MedicAlert Foundation Canada Legend of the Call Award. This distinction is presented annually to a Canadian emergency responder who demonstrates outstanding performance in following MedicAlert’s Look-Read-Call procedure to protect and save the life of someone in need. It’s an award that he was honoured and humbled to receive.
 
“When we’re faced with the challenge of not knowing what’s wrong, there are risks that come with that. That’s when MedicAlert makes a world of difference,” says Devin. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to help people and this job is everything I wanted in a career of being able to help people,” says Devin.
 
 
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