Community Paramedic learns on the job

Mike Dansereau was presented with a Governor General's Exemplary Service medal in Regina on Sept. 15 for his years of work with Parkland Ambulance. He is pictured with Trevor Dutchak, head of Parkland. Photo Submitted.

After 20 years working in the Emergency Medical Services field, Mike Dansereau is still keeping his skills sharp and learning new ones.

Dansereau, one of a group of paramedics to be honoured with a Governor General Exemplary Service Medal (20 years) said it was a surprise to get the medal.

“It was pretty much a surprise, we don’t keep track of awards all that often,” he said. “It’s been so busy it did catch me by surprise when I heard about it initially.”

In the description of why he got the award, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan said there were multiple reasons to acknowledge Dansereau’s work.

He continually demonstrates the skills required to be an excellent community paramedic including new treatment skills, he collaborates with an array of health professionals, his patient’s families and makes a health care plan for his patients.

“There’s always continuing education and there’s always an evolution to the job no matter which position you’re in,” said Dansereau.

He has worked as a Community Paramedic for about a year now, which involves a different type of care. He will see patients in a care home then consult with their doctor on a treatment plan or prescriptions.

This allows the patient to be left in the home rather than being taken to a hospital.

“We take care of the elderly in care homes mainly. It’s quite an interesting position. I kind of like it,” he said.

Most people that need care will end up spending some time waiting before seeing a doctor but the Community Paramedic concept cuts out the waiting time.

“We phone the family doctor right from their bedside after we do the assessment and they’re usually able to prescribe something or there is blood work that we can draw up while we’re there,” explained Dansereau.

For the last year, he has also done work on behalf of Public Health, administering COVID-19 tests and now helping administer vaccines as well. He and others in the Community Paramedic program can go to the person needing the test or vaccine if they are not mobile.

Dansereau trained at SAIT in Alberta but then chose to move to Prince Albert, his home town, so he could work and live near family. He even delivered the Daily Herald during Grade 6.

“My parents have always been here so I wanted to get my career in the area where my parents and all their friends live. I got to take care of some of them in the 20 years I’ve worked here,” he said. “It’s been an interesting career.”

One part of his work with Parkland Ambulance that he likes to focus on is the team aspect of the company and the job.

“We don’t like to individualize ourselves,” he said. “With Parkland, it’s a team effort and we have a very awesome team that we work with here.”

Dansereau was presented with his medal by Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty at Government House in Regina on Sept. 15.