APL Advisor

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The APL Advisor

IN THIS NEWSLETTER h ACHIEVING SUCCESS AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE h PARAMEDICS IN THE SKY h SAVING LIVES AS A 21-YEAR-OLD PARAMEDIC h WORKING AS A PARAMEDIC DURING A PANDEMIC

NOV | DEC | JAN 2020-21


MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

It’s feeling like winter is just around the corner so with a season change, comes more positive change at APL! There has been a lot of planning and work being done in the background at APL over that past several months which was presented at our corporate retreat on October 2nd. The APL 2021 Organizational structure was released which had some significant changes which will allow for better structure, business flow, and opportunity. It will also allow for internal opportunities within the organization while allowing APL to pursue and accept future business that aligns within our strategic priorities. I am very excited to share that Sheila Veidt has accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and her new role will become effective on November 9th 2020! For most of you, Sheila requires no introduction as while supporting operations, she has been leading the office team at APL for several years. Sheila not only brings the credentials, skill and

education required to excel in this role, but her 10 years of experience with APL will make it a natural transition. Please join me in welcoming and supporting Sheila into her new position! As a result of this new organizational structure change, we will adding the position of Office Manager and Projects Manager to our leadership team. The Projects Manager position will be filled by Pamela Clendenning on her return to work on December 9th 2020 and the Office Manager will be posted internally and externally. The Projects Manager position will assume most of the business lines from the desk of the existing Operations Manager position with the exception of Air Ambulance. As a result, we will transition this role to become Air Ambulance Manager effective December 9th. And finally, we will bring HR into the leadership line as well. This position is valuable and we rely heavily on HR while we make important planning and staffing decisions. A lot of thought and planning

goes into change such as this. We believe that this change is necessary based on the future outlook and opportunity that lies ahead for all of us at APL. As you know, 2020 has been an unprecedented year that most of us would like to move forward from in many ways. Having said that, we have learned so much from 2020 that I consider it to be a valuable year of learning and growth. Lets focus on the education we received from 2020 as we move forward as a much stronger and knowledgeable team. And finally, with COVID19 still among us, I understand people are getting C19 fatigued. We must not let our guard down while we continue to protect ourselves, our patients and each other. Stay safe…

STEPHEN WOODBURN, CEO

In the Community ORANGE SHIRT DAY

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Shae and Ashley from our Cadotte Lake Team went out to Cadotte Lake School to support Orange Shirt Day.

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ADVANCED PARAMEDIC LTD. ACHIEVING SUCCESS AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE By Deb Draper

TWENTY YEARS AGO, STEPHEN WOODBURN TOOK HIS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AS A PARAMEDIC AND PUT THEM TO WORK WITH HIS NATURAL ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE TO CREATE ADVANCED PARAMEDIC LTD. (APL), TODAY A THRIVING FULL-SERVICE ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO MEETING THE MEDICAL SERVICE NEEDS OF ALBERTANS. “Another area of our work is through what we call special events– rodeos, auctions, big graduation ceremonies, concerts happening all around Alberta and requiring the presence of paramedics. By focusing on ongoing occasions, such as our contract with FC Edmonton for soccer games and Century Mile for horse racing, some of our special events crews are now working almost fulltime.”

“I had been working with a local ambulance service for about 10 years before I decided to launch my own company,” he explains. “Starting out in 2000 as an industrial ambulance company, we primarily worked on small projects in our local area in Northern Alberta for oil and gas companies, construction, pipelines, medical standby– whatever was required, we did it.” That was only the beginning for APL. Two years later, Stephen bid on and was awarded the air ambulance contract for the Peace River base in the province of Alberta. “I had to very quickly learn how to meet the responsibilities I’d committed myself to! Since then we gained experience and expanded on that contract until today we staff five air ambulance aircraft in Alberta with base locations in High level, Fort Vermillion, Grande Prairie and two in Peace River.”

As well, for about five years now, APL has been supplying nonemergency medical transport by ground for people who need to be somewhere like a hospital or a health care facility and have no way to get there. More recently, APL has expanded into COVID assessment centres, providing paramedics to Health Canada for First Nation communities throughout Alberta. Working cooperatively with registered nurses, the team does assessments, triage, COVID swab tests. Every week these special teams travel to a new group of communities to give whatever support Health Canada requests.

As any successful businessperson knows, diversity is key to the strength of an organization. Over the years, APL expanded into larger contracts within the oil and gas industry, while also providing ground ambulance work based in Cadotte Lake and Little Buffalo for surrounding areas.

Stephen Woodburn, dynamic and justifiably proud CEO believes the strength and success of APL comes down to having a solid set of core values upon which all decisions are based. “From there we have developed a great team–over 100 great people to lead and manage the work we do every day.”

“We also do clinical work for Health Canada, providing paramedics to very remote First Nations communities in the high northern part of Alberta that have limited access to doctors. In communities such as Fox Lake, J’Dor Prairie and Garden River, a number of APL paramedics are stationed in-community, available every day of the week, commuting in on three-week rotations.”

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Snapshots BRITNEY AND TREVOR - PEACE RIVER FLIGHT TEAM

ARABELLA AND BRITNEY PEACE RIVER FLIGHT TEAM

NATHAN AT OUR HIGH LEVEL FLIGHT BASE

PHOTOS CAPTURED BY STACEY FROM OUR FLIGHT DIVISION

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Snapshots DENNY, CAROLYN AND JACK GETTING READY TO DELIVER A BABY FROM OUR ISC TEAM

OUR ISC TEAM GETTING READY TO FLY HOME

PENDRA AND ASHLEY FROM OUR CADOTTE LAKE TEAM

PHOTOS CAPTURED BY SKYE FROM OUR FLIGHT DIVISION

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Snapshots PHOTOS CAPTURED BY CAM FROM THE PEACE RIVER FLIGHT TEAM

PREPARING COVID19 KITS FOR TESTING

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PHOTO CAPTURED BY ARABELLA FROM OUR FLIGHT DIVISON

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Snapshots STACEY, KAILEE AND ALYCE FROM OUR FLIGHT DIVISION

HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE UPDATE In the last quarter this year, we have experienced an increase in incidents. Many we are proud to say have been investigated and completed. Many of these incidents were focused around COVID-19 and practitioner safety in a world of COVID. One of the ongoing agenda items within Health & Safety is COVID-19. We have discussed that at this time we recognize many employees are starting to experience COVID Fatigue. This can lead to complacency which in turn could not only affect yourself, but your co-workers and family once you go home. We would like to encourage everyone within the company to continue to practice safe physical distancing, continuous masking procedure and PPE guidelines when both in staff accommodations, ground or air ambulance and all work locations within APL. With winter approaching quickly, we have started prepping the winterization of our staff accommodations, vehicles and getting more PPE for employees. This remains a team effort as we ask all employees to be forthcoming with any Health & Safety hazards they see or witness. Slips, trips and falls are at an increased risk during the winter months. Recently our Peace River Flight H&S Rep has stepped down. We are currently looking for a new representative. We encourage all staff who have a knack for health and safety, would like to seek change or make a positive H&S difference, to inquire about the vacant representative position on our committee. This is open to both casual and full-time employees who are interested. Please send your inquiries to brie.b@advancedparamedic.com or to the Peace River Flight Team Lead, Courtney Bolduc at courtney.b@ advancedparamedic.com and we would love to speak with you about the opportunity. As always, we encourage all to be safe in the work they do and thank you for your due diligence in making a safe and healthy APL! Go Team!

Brie Bizuns, Acting Operations Supervisor H&S Committee Co-Chair and Representative.

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HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE The H&S Committee has the responsibility to play an important role in creating a safe and healthy working environment within APL. To achieve this, the H&S Committee will work to ensure all members of the APL community are knowledgeable about the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Program. The committee is made up of the following people:

Ashley Richard, pcp cadotte lake

cadotterep@advancedparamedic.com

Rachel Zep, acp grande prairie

gprep@advancedparamedic.com

Chris Farnady, acp high level/fort vermilion hlfvrep@advancedparamedic.com

? Jack Webb, ACP indigenous services canada

Samuel Elkins, hse manager

Brie Bizuns, operations asst. special events/nemt rep

Kristen Damer, admin asst. office rep

safety@advancedparamedic.com

peace river

prrep@advancedparamedic.com

foxlakerep@advancedparamedic.com

brie.b@advancedparamedic.com

kristen.d@advancedparamedic.com

1.888.624.4911 WWW.ADVANCEDPARAMEDIC.COM


PARAMEDICS IN THE SKY By Deb Draper

AS A TEENAGER, RACHEL ZEP KNEW EXACTLY WHAT CAREER PATH SHE WANTED TO FOLLOW. WHILE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL, SHE COMPLETED THE FIRST LEVEL OF EMS TRAINING ON WEEKENDS, AND BY THE TIME SHE WAS 23, HAD ACHIEVED HER ACP CERTIFICATION. where it’s going, and once the weather’s good at both airports, they let us know. We then contact the hospital for all the details, what equipment is needed, the severity of the patient. The team on duty flies or drives to the hospital and transfers the patient onto the much more compact equipment of the air ambulance.”

“First I did about 10 years of ground ambulance, then in 2001 I started dabbling in flights,” says Rachel. “By 2005, I was flying full time, and have been doing that ever since. Based in Grande Prairie, we’re the high-acuity aircraft, specializing in transporting critical ICU patients mainly to Edmonton, but also to Calgary or Vancouver, depending on where we’re picking up.”

Working 24-hour shifts, usually one week on, one week off, each team has either two paramedics or a paramedic and a nurse, and although their area is physically Grande Prairie, Jasper and Northern B.C., they will fly to wherever they’re needed–in the past as far east as Manitoba, north to the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The average flight is six hours, but it could be 8 to10 hours or longer for more critical patients.

The team has enough equipment and medication to function as an ICU or emergency department inside new state-of-the-art airplanes with stretcher-capability for two patients plus one person each to accompany them. “Everything a big hospital ICU room would have, we squish into a two-foot by six-foot package–a tiny stretcher with a little pack for their needs. A patient that we’re picking up might have 12 medications with pumps running, but there just isn’t enough space to take everything with us in the plane. We have to prioritize what medications they will be okay without for the next three hours.”

“We have regular courses, in-house training we need to maintain. We sit down with our doctors to review cases, often doing medical rounds with them where they teach us the latest. Once we’re at 25,000 feet and a patient has an issue, it’s up to us to make decisions.”

An average day in Rachel’s working life? There isn’t one other than being ready for the next flight to come in. “When a hospital needs to move a patient, they first get a number of doctors involved to determine the best place for them to go to, the best resource team. Once they decide it’s us, they call our dispatch to arrange the transfer. We notify the pilots where a flight is coming from,

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“I love my job and I love flying. Every day in the sky is different, the landscape changing with every season. Every patient is completely different, and I am always learning as medicine changes and more scientific studies come out.”

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GET TO KNOW YOUR TEAM MEMBERS

BROOKE, PCP, ISC MOBILE ASSESSMENT TEAM

DAN, PCP, ISC MOBILE ASSESSMENT TEAM

Where did you grow up?

Where did you grow up?

Millet, Leduc and Edmonton

I grew up in the Edmonton area.

Years in the industry?

Years in the industry?

One

Just starting out in the industry!

What was your first job?

What was your first job?

Esso Gas as a Cashier

My first job was working as a first responder/security personnel for event venues.

What is your hidden talent or a unique fact about yourself? A hidden talent is that I have double jointed thumbs and knees. A unique fact is that I hit a deer and totalled my car, on Friday the 13th, with $666 cash in my wallet. Oops.

What is your hidden talent or a fun fact about yourself?

What advice would you give to an aspiring paramedic?

Always be open to advancing your medical knowledge. You’ll never stop learning throughout your career.

I collect videogame memorabilia.

What advice would you give to an aspiring paramedic?

Study hard, be as hands on as possible, and build relationships during your ambulance practicum. Also, never be afraid to ask for help!

What is your favourite part about working for APL? While I have only recently been hired, I thoroughly enjoy the people and welcoming and open environment APL provides.

What is your favourite part about working for APL? Everyone has been extremely kind and helpful during my first week on site.

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HR SPOTLIGHT

EAP FOR CASUAL EMPLOYEES Did you know that we have an Employee Assistance Program for all casual employees? This program is free to casual employees, and includes a total of twelve (12) combined hours of face-to-face counselling within each calendar year. Telephone consultation is also available to a maximum of three (3) hours each per calendar year. To access this program, call the toll free number 1-877-412-7483. For more information about the program, refer to our Group Benefits Policy on DATS, or the Employee Assistance Program brochure located on DATS.

Courtney Robinson, Human Resources Coordinator

APL DONATION TO THE ROTARACT CLUB APL was so generous to donate to the Rotaract Club for a project (Packed Packs) they were doing for the local schools in Peace River, AB. With the help of APL’s donation, Rotaract Club was able to purchase school supplies and fill the back packs for kids that needed supplies for their school year. Rotary donated just over 100 back packs to the local schools to help our students/teachers in our community.

Kristen Damer, Administrative Assistant

A Day In The Life Of A Paramedic A fellow nurse colleague, Jack and Carolyn from our ISC Team were having lunch. The nurse choked causing full obstruction and Jack quickly acted to dislodge it. Afterwards, Jack told us how when his son was four years old he choked on a candy and at that moment he realized “I better learn first aid.” The rest is history. Thank you Jack for all that you do!

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PENDRA BARRETT PCP A PARAMEDIC AS A YOUNG WOMAN By Deb Draper

EVER SINCE SHE WAS SIXTEEN AND WORKING ON HER LIFEGUARDING CERTIFICATION, PENDRA BARRETT KNEW SHE WANTED TO BECAME A PARAMEDIC. “THE LIFE-SAVING COURSES I WAS TAKING LED ME TO WANT TO LEARN MORE, AND I FELT THAT EMS WAS A PERFECT SETTING. IT’S PREHOSPITAL, FAST-PACED, AND EVERY DAY WOULD BE DIFFERENT. THAT WAS VERY INTRIGUING TO ME.” Three years later, in 2018, Pendra became a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP), working with the APL team out of Cadotte Lake.

emphasis is on working with patients. School prepares you very well for what you get thrown at you, but it is definitely a reality check when you actually get out there.”

“I live in Edmonton, so it’s a bit of a journey to get up there, but really worth it for the community. There are four full-timers working at Cadotte, doing one or two weeks on and off. As a casual worker, I pick up a week or so, help out with extras hours, whatever’s needed. We work in pairs; one drives the ambulance, the other takes the call. The next call that comes in, we swap. I’m lucky in Cadotte because we are all in a similar young age range, making for a good team dynamic.”

Eventually, Pendra might decide to go further in her career, become an Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), but right now she wants to continue building up experience and confidence before taking that next step. When asked what it’s like to save lives when she’s only 21 years old, Pendra’s reply is one that most paramedics would give at any age. “We don’t necessarily think of ourselves as ‘saving lives’, and sometimes we don’t get to find out the end results of patients. We go into each call simply to help somebody in need, to help them through what can be the most traumatic or painful time of their life. It’s quite rewarding in that way.”

Over the past two years, Pendra has found the work to be quite different in some ways than what she anticipated. “In school you don’t realize the professional element of the job, doing reports, working with dispatch and other emergency services because the

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KUDOS CORNER

CONGRATULATIONS KAYLA AND KATIE FROM OUR CADOTTE LAKE TEAM! Our Cadotte Lake Ground Team delivered another baby. Congratulations is in order for Kayla and Katie who delivered a baby girl in September.

BEHIND THE SCENES “In Fox Lake, ACPs Carolyn and Jack from our ISC Team took time from their weekend to go over Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) and demonstrate scenarios as a learning activity for the nurses. It was incredibly helpful and a lot of fun.” Thank you Carolyn and Jack! - Sincerely, a grateful nurse.

PEER RECOGNITION PEER AWARDRECOGNITION AWARD Please join us in congratulating Alysia Carew, with our Edmonton Medical Standby Team, as this quarters welldeserved recipient of the APL Peer Recognition Award!

In recognition of her efforts, we present her with a certificate. We will also be displaying her picture as the recipient on a plaque until the next recipient is announced. She will also be given a (1) day off with pay at her regular wage rate. The Senior Management Team will also be taking her out for lunch at a restaurant of her choice.

Alysia is being recognized by her peers for going the extra mile. She works hard within APL and is alway eager to help in any way possible. She has been going the extra mile in Edmonton and helps facilitate all the additional operational activities out of the EIA.

We are so proud of Alysia’s successes and sincerely thank her for all she does for APL. Sincerely, APL Senior Management Team

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WORKING AS A PARAMEDIC DURING A PANDEMIC By Deb Draper

JACK WEBB HAS WORKED AS A PARAMEDIC IN MANY DIFFERENT SETTINGS: ON THE STREETS IN EDMONTON, INDUSTRIAL CLINICS IN NORTHERN ALBERTA, OVERSEAS IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES. FINALLY, TWO YEARS AGO HE JOINED THE APL INDIGENOUS SERVICES TEAM AT FOX LAKE RESERVE, A VERY ISOLATED AREA, RELYING ON A BARGE TO CROSS THE RIVER IN SUMMER AND AN AIRSTRIP THAT OPERATES DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER. but this was taking two people away from the clinic at a time. The solution was to use one of the clinic’s emergency rooms, making for better communication and access to supplies.”

“If the flying conditions are poor, that can make our time with a patient very long,” Jack explains. “Generally, we have three nurses, two paramedics plus the nurse-in-charge up here, looking after about 5000 people in and around the community of Fox Lake, so it can get pretty busy at times.”

As the list of potential symptoms for COVID grew, the team was doing even more testing and eventually had to establish two dedicated rooms, setting aside one hour a day only for testing in order to balance all the regular clinic work.

“When the pandemic first started, it was confusing because no one knew what to expect–not only the paramedics and nurses up here, but also the band staff and the clients. The clinic is normally packed with people; right away everything had to change to facilitate seeing our regular patients while establishing a separate room for COVID testing.”

“Our clinic also had to evolve to accommodate social distancing requirements. We can’t have anyone waiting inside, so patients come in to our front foyer area where they are screened for COVID, get a number and are assigned a parking spot outside. They have to wait there until a room is available and they are called in.”

At first the team set up an isolation room in an empty heated second garage, but it was soon apparent that wasn’t the answer. “Every time we saw a patient in there, we had to gown up, full PPE before going inside the building. Leaving the room meant taking everything off, then new equipment to come back in. We were going through a lot of stock, and it was very time consuming. We tried assigning two people to a COVID patient–one would go in, do everything and report to a second person outside the building,

“We also used to see a lot of patients at night but the community completely locked down at the beginning of the pandemic so nothing came in unless it was a serious emergency. Already living

continued on page 15...

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“I’ve been here two years and one team leader has been here seven years, and the community gets to know you and trust you. This is an important element for an isolated community like this in helping to keep them safe. Our team up here is solid and consistent and we are becoming part of the community. It’s a great job when you’re working with good people and a community that is thankful that you’re there.”

... continued from page 14 in a very secluded community, the people found this extra isolation was very difficult, so once the lockdown lifted, we saw a real increase in patients, more accidents more stress and mental health issues. It’s been especially difficult within this very family-oriented culture, but everyone has banded together and we haven’t had one confirmed case.”

WHY I BECAME A NURSE Ever since I was a little kid, I have always had an interest in medicine. I can remember going to the hospital with a broken arm as a child and watching everyone work together and making sick kids smile. As I grew older my passion for medicine grew. I watched my older sister graduate from nursing school when I was 15 years old. I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I accomplished the same, however I knew I didn’t want to be exactly like my big sister. I didn’t want to work in a hospital, I wanted to work in an airplane. I have now been a RN for 6 wonderful years. To me, being a nurse is so much more than just helping other people. It is being a good team mate, an advocate, a leader and a smiling face. I am happy to say that I have finally gotten my dream job of working as a nurse on medivacs. I look forward to continuing to grow and develop my flights skills. The best part of being a nurse is there is always something new to learn!

Dakota, RN for the High Level and Fort Vermilion Team

Testimonials

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THE NEXT NEWSLETTER IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2021 IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS/SUBMISSIONS FOR THE NEXT NEWSLETTER, PLEASE SEND THEM TO PR@ADVANCEDPARAMEDIC.COM BY DECEMBER 1, 2020.

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