Northeast EMS workers recognized by Lieutenant Governor in Regina

Submitted Photo (L to R) Shelby Payne and Jessica Brost were both recognized for their work in the EMS field on Dec. 6 in Regina.

Shelby Payne wasn’t looking to win any medals, so she was a bit shocked when she did.

Payne, a paramedic with North East EMS, received the Star of Life medal at Government House in Regina on Dec. 6 for her contributions to the field. She said it was a surprising, but welcome, development.

“I felt very grateful and it was very appreciated that I was thought of to get a Star of Life medal,” Payne said. “I know that people can go their whole careers without getting it. People have done outstanding things in the EMS world and never received a Star of Life. Not that I wanted to receive a medal, not that I was expecting to receive a medal, but when I found out I was nominated and receiving the medal I felt very grateful and super appreciated, (and) kind of in shock I guess.

“I don’t come to work expecting to get anything, I don’t need a thank you, I don’t need anything. I picked this profession because I love what I do.”

Payne has spent 10 years as a paramedic, the last three with North East EMS. North East paramedic chief Jessica Brost nominated her for the award. Brost said the award recognizes the contributions paramedics make in the field, something Payne excels at.

“She is just a very humble person and works extremely hard behind the scenes,” Brost said. “She is not one for bringing attention to all of the spectacular things she does.

“She is very big on mental health, wellness and checking in on her partners and always goes above and beyond with us whether it be the patients or with her coworkers. She is just a kind extremely hard working, always thinking of others kind of person. She is just a wonderful co-worker and employee and I am just so thankful that she has decided to work with us.”

The nomination package described Payne as a strong leader who works hard and leads by example. Brost also credited her for her kind, soft-spoken demeanor, which helps comfort patients during difficult times, and said she is always among the first to volunteer in the community.

Payne said she enjoys working with people, and being a paramedic gives her an opportunity to do that. She credited her co-workers for making North East EMS a great workplace.

“I just love what I do,” she said. “Any chance that I can try and help someone, whether it be putting a band aid on a little kid’s finger or helping an elderly person to the washroom or just calming some nerves, it is just something where I feel accomplished. I wish that I could be there for more people in a time where they feel helpless and scared and I can hopefully help them calm down and help reassure them a little bit.”

Payne was among three paramedics from the North East who were recognized on Dec. 6. Brost and Melfort Ambulance Care paramedic Wayne Therres both received Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals from Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty.

Brost said it was an honour to be recognized alongside her peers.

“It is a very prestigious award,” she said. “I felt very privileged and thankful and humbled by getting that award, especially with all of the others that received awards. A lot of people who I have followed in my career and depended on for knowledge, support and guidance also got the awards, so to get it along with them was quite an honour.”

Submitted Photo (L to R) Wayne Therres received his Queen’s Jubilee Medal in Melfort from Jessica Brost because he could not attend the ceremony in Regina on Dec. 6.

Brost said that receiving the award at Government House made it very special. She was also excited to share the award with her family.

“It was special for myself, my husband and my parents,” she said. “(They) were very proud and my Grandma is the biggest fan of the Queen, so she was very excited I received that award as well.”

Brost said she got into the business because it is a new adventure each day. She also wanted to help people in need, so becoming a paramedic was an easy choice.

“You are kind of in the middle of action and able to help people,” she explained. “You need to depend on a partner. (You) have to work well with all of these different agencies and also work well with the patients to find the best treatment and care for them. I just love that problem-solving piece to it.”

Like Brost and Payne, Therres, who operates Melfort Ambulance Care, was honoured and humbled to be selected. Even though he couldn’t attend the ceremony due to work commitments, he was grateful for the recognition.

“It’s pretty humbling in the picture to be recognized with the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal,” he said.

“It’s a tremendous honour and humbling in that people would recognize you for what you do on a day-to-day basis, and we are just doing what we do.”

Brost accepted Therres’ medal and dropped it off in Melfort as part of her duties as Secretary of Paramedic Services Chiefs of Saskatchewan.

“It’s an honour to be recognized that way with everybody else in the province who is doing such amazing work in the field pre-hospital or para-medicine,” Therres said. “It’s great. I don’t think there is any of us that are really in it for the awards in the picture. We are here for the public. That’s where our hearts and our mindsets are, in make sure we are providing the very best we can every day that we can to keep our people safe and healthy in the province.”

The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal is a way for Saskatchewan to honour Her Majesty for Her service to Canada while also recognizing the significant contributions and achievements of Saskatchewan citizens.