On Sept. 29, the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs completed its 2017 Annual General Meeting in Ottawa and recognized two paramedics with Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal and an Award of Courage.
The 2017 Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Medal was awarded to Blind River resident Derrick Bates.
Proud father of three children and married for 10 years, Bates started his career in 1990 with the Blind River Ambulance Service as a part time emergency medical attendant. He worked his way up to primary care paramedic in 1995 and in 1996, he became a full time paramedic with the Blind River Ambulance Service. Bates was promoted to work group leader in October 2014.
As a paramedic, he became a preceptor for many students who wanted to make paramedicine their career. He was also a volunteer firefighter for Blind River for 25 years. When the roof of the Algo Center Mall collapsed, he was there in the middle of helping injured residents and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee medal for his hard work and dedication.
On top of being a paramedic and a volunteer firefighter, Bates has also been involved with the S.T.O.P program by the OPP and is also a level two trainer for the Blind River Beavers.
Due a recent career ending shoulder injury, Bates is no longer working as a paramedic but is still part of the team with a desk position.
Born and raised in Africa, David Alloway was the recipient of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chief’s Award of Courage for rescuing two ATV riders on May 21.
Described as humble and kind by his wife Joan, Alloway didn’t think twice about getting in the water to help two people out of the lake.
“He did not hesitate, he jumped in and saved them,” said his wife. “David is too humble and wouldn’t announce it, but he deserves this.”
The incident happened outside of Blind River. The rider that was in front of Alloway failed to navigate a corner on the trail and the two riders, a husband and wife, could not swim to shore. Once Alloway rescued the wife and made sure she was safe, he jumped back in the water to get the husband safely to shore.
In a letter that the Algoma District Paramedic Services received from the couple, they said, “There are no words in our lifetime that can express our utmost gratitude to Dave Alloway for truly saving our lives from drowning that day.”
Alloway’s wife described the event as “crazy and fast.”
According to Algoma District Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Jeffrey Pulvermacher, Alloway stated that the rescue could not have happened without the help of his family who handed the couple dry clothes and called 911.
Alloway has six children, has been married for 29 years and has been a resident of Blind River for nine years. He has worked in White River, Dubreuilville, Hornepayne and Richard’s Landing, and is currently stationed in Thessalon.
“It is not often that paramedics get recognized for the work that they do,” said Pulvermacher. “Algoma District Paramedic Service is very proud to have two of our paramedics receive these prestigious awards.”