Longtime Parkland Ambulance communication director announces retirement

Parkland Ambulance Photo Longtime Parkland Ambulance employee Brian Reichle announced his impending retirement on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Parkland Ambulance Care announced the upcoming retirement of Brian Reichle their current Director of Communications

His last day with the organization will be this Friday, Feb. 3.

Reichle began a 38-year career with Parkland Ambulance in February, 1984, long before some of Parkland’s staff might even have been born. He said there were a number of factors that influenced his decision to retire.

“I don’t think there is any one thing,” he said. “It is just, you wake up one morning and you start thinking about it and you start realizing where you are at in life and what’s going on. You just kind of make that decision and you stick with that decision.

“I had a few people call me up and say ‘what made you decide?’ I said, ‘well you just start thinking about it and you think of where you are at in life and what is going on and then you make the decision.”

Reichle has had a dedicated professional career that has taken him through many facets of the organization. Starting out shortly after high school when he was 20-years-old, the now 58-year-old has been an integral part of the growth of the Parkland organization.

“For me it has been a fantastic career,” he said. “It’s been a whirlwind, and for somebody who is thinking about getting into emergency services, it is not one of those rewarding careers that you see on TV every day, but in the real world it is a rewarding career. You get to work with a lot of great people.”

Professionally Reichle held the rank of an intermediate care paramedic and a valued member of the leadership team as Director of Communications. He is one of five directors in the organization and the Emergency Communications or Dispatch Centre is his purview.

“The Dispatch Centre is a lot like the paramedics on the street,” he said. “There has been lots of changes to technology, changes in call volume, increase in staffing. Change is a pretty common word when you start talking about EMS in general in Canada.”

Throughout his career, Reichle saw some incredible changes to the profession. The biggest was in the ability and level of care paramedics can deliver to those they care for, but there were also changes to the equipment and the vehicles used by paramedics.

Everything from vehicles to technology and training have changed in his 30 years.

“The people, you see a difference in not only staff that you hire nowadays but you also see the change in society, the violence and the drug users that are out there,” he said.

“I think back when I just started there was similar type calls where you would go to public assaults and fights and different things like that but everything has changed so much—the way people think and the way they treat other people nowadays,” Reichle added.

Through his career, Reichle has held many roles and responsibilities. Currently he is responsible for rural first responders. He is also the lead on emergency planning and lead on medical communication coordination centre north.

“It’s going to be a two step retirement for me,” he explained. “Feb. 2 is my last day in my current position. Beyond that I am going to stay working at Parkland just on a few projects that aren’t finished yet so I will continue to do that probably until early into the spring.

“I won’t just turn and walk away.”

The communications centre is one area where he has seen the most incredible growth.

Technology guides the communications specialists in handling over 900 incidents every week. In a press release, Parkland Ambulance touted Reichle’s voice as a strong one on medical communications.

Reichle said that he will miss the relationships he developed over his 30 years with Parkland.

“I think what I will miss probably the most is the people and the friendships you make over the years whether that’s people just at Parkland Ambulance or people in the industry that you work with,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be the people.”

Parkland stated in the release on his retirement that “the incredible stressful yet vitally important work our communications team does, is only matched by the sincere, honest and strong leadership” of Reichle

“We are sad to see Brian leave, we wish Brian and his wife Laurie well in retirement,” the press release reads. “Congratulations to Brian on an incredible 38-year career with Parkland Ambulance Care.”