First responders seek first place in annual Terry Fox relay race

Parkland Ambulance's team captain, Jordan Ambrose (left), starts the Emergency Services Terry Fox Relay with the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) at Prime Ministers Park on Sept. 7, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Parkland Ambulance reclaims trophy—and bragging rights—from Prince Albert police

Parkland Ambulance paramedics walked away from the Emergency Services Terry Fox Relay on Saturday with the winning trophy.

Team captain Jordan Ambrose said he had a feeling the paramedics would be the first to cross the finish line.

“We’ve got some young, fast guys. I’m the old guy on the team, so I started it off and then they were able to catch up,” he said.

Before the race, Ambrose could feel the nerves: “I woke up this morning, took a Zantac and an Advil and luckily I had three younger guys that could pick me up.”

The paramedics were determined to win this year after a tough loss to the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) in 2018.

Parkland and PAPS each made a $500 donation to next week’s Terry Fox Run.

The Prince Albert Fire Department (PAFD) also made a $500 donation, but did not run in the relay.

Ambrose hopes the emergency services relay creates more publicity for the upcoming run.

“(It) shows that our first responders and emergency services in the community are supporting the cause and hopefully it creates more recruitment and more involvement in the actual (run).”

The Parkland Ambulance team stands behind their trophy for a group photo with members of the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS), the Prince Albert Fire Department (PAFD), and the local Terry Fox Run committee at Prime Ministers Park on Sept. 7, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Chair of the local Terry Fox Run committee, Danielle Poisson, took part in the cheque presentations. Although this is her first year as the chair, she’s been on the committee for the past six years.

She said the relay is a chance for first responders to put their jobs aside and have a friendly competition.

“These guys work so hard, so it’s fun when they can actually come out and enjoy themselves. They work closely together anyways,” she said.

Poisson lost her father to both colon and lung cancer. He was 62 years old.

“I’ve met a lot of incredible people during this journey and hearing other people’s stories helps me heal,” she said. “I’m here on behalf of my father because I want to raise awareness for the need for cancer research.”

“I have a responsibility, being one of the new chairpersons, of continuing on the legacy and inspiring the younger generations.”

Vern Hodgins, who’s also on the committee, said the Terry Fox relay has been going on since 1994.

They also had teams from different schools race against each other before the Terry Fox Foundation created a national run for schools.

The trophy shows many more emergency services champions than just Parkland, PAPS and PAFD.

“Jail guards have won it before, Pen guards have won it before, the RCMP used to have a team in it, the conservation officers used to have a team in it,” explained Hodgins.

He said now it’s mainly a competition between the paramedics, police and firefighters.

“It’s real bragging rights between them,” he said.

The Prince Albert Terry Fox Run takes place on Sunday, Sept. 15. Registration starts at 1:15 p.m., with the walk starting at 2 p.m. on the Rotary Trail by the Alfred Jenkins Field House.

There will be two kilometre, five kilometre and 10 kilometre routes.