Parkland Ambulance hands out employee awards

Jodi Schellenberg
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They are the people others in the community look up to every time they do their jobs.

Parkland Ambulance held their annual Christmas party last Friday and presented awards to five of their employees: Chris Pacey, Tracey Detillieux, Valerie Scarrett, Kelly Straf and Sheldon Hirschfeld.

During the 39th annual Parkland Ambulance Christmas party held last Friday in Prince Albert, awards were handed out to a number of employees.

Tracey Detillieux was presented with Employee of the Year.

“I was totally shocked actually,” Detillieux said. “There are so many people there that are deserving of the award that I was shocked.”

The award is presented to an employee who is reliable, courteous and compassionate and continually strives to provide the best possible care to all patients.

“This person is recognized for their integrity and dedication to their fellow employees,” the criteria read.

“I’m a team leader at work, so there is a little bit more responsibility making sure that shift runs well and everybody is getting along well,” Detillieux said.

She has been working for Parkland Ambulance 20 years and enjoys her job.

“I was very fortunate 20 years ago that Mr. Barry Dutchak took a chance and let me live out a childhood dream,” Detillieux said. “I grew up watching the show Emergency and dreamed that one day I would do that as a living and here I am 20 years later still living the dream.”

Even though she is self-described as an “old dog,” Detillieux still loves her job.

“I love the challenge and the chance to touch people’s lives in a positive way,” Detillieux said. “It is rewarding.”

Throughout the years Detillieux has seen many changes in the health field and she is proud to be part of a forward-thinking organization.

Detillieux also enjoys putting in off-the-clock hours as well.

“There are so many opportunities in the community that if I don’t like, for example, going to hockey games, there are lots of other opportunities like Meals on Wheels and involvement with the Children’s Haven -- things that are more near to my heart,” Detillieux said. “I get involved in the way that I want to.”

The Rookie of the Year award was presented to Chris Pacey, who has been part of the team since May 2012.

The award is presented to an employee with two years or less service in the EMS Field with Parkland Ambulance.

“This person has shown leadership and initiative in becoming a part of our health care team,” the criteria read. “They take pride in their work and always strive to do better.”

“I was extremely surprised,” Pacey said. “It was unexpected, that is for sure. It is more recognition for a year of hard work.”

He is proud to be working for Parkland Ambulance.

“We have one of the best teams out there,” Pacey said. “It is awesome. That is really the only way to describe it.”

In addition to regular work hours, Pacey has also volunteered about 50 hours already this year.

“A lot of volunteer events are Meals on Wheels or standbys for the Raider games,” Pacey said. “It is something to do on your days off and I just enjoy it.”

Valerie Scarrett was named Telecommunicator of the Year, an award that goes to those who are the public’s first link to EMS.

“They need to be courteous, friendly and manage multiple situations in the central dispatch center,” the criteria stated. “These individuals are the vital link for the safety of the responding paramedic crews and coordinate efforts between other emergency services with diplomacy and efficiency.”

Scarrett has been with Parkland Ambulance for more than 30 years and is described as multi-talented, having a cool demeanor and dedicated to exceptional service with a calm, caring and distinctive voice.

“We do the call taking and dispatching of the ambulances, sending out the first responders, calling the police and calling STARS -- all that kind of stuff is what we do in the communications centre,” Scarrett said.

Like the others, Scarrett enjoys being part of the team at Parkland Ambulance.

“I think all the staff I work with, everybody is great to work with,” Scarrett said. “I worked for the management for all those years and they have been good to me. I think it is just a good atmosphere to work under.”

She was shocked to receive the award during the banquet.

“I felt humbled by it, knowing that my peers and coworkers had voted for me but I also felt a little bit embarrassed,” Scarrett said. “Everybody does a good job in there. It was nice that everyone thought I was deserving it but I think there are a lot of people who deserve it as well.”

The last award presented was the President’s Award, which was handed out to Sheldon Hirschfeld and Kelly Straf.

The award “recognizes … outstanding team work and selfless commitment to the service of others.”

One of the reasons the two paramedics were chosen was due to their selfless act in June, when they saved five people during a call to a fire. They received the Royal Canadian Humane Society medals of bravery later in the year.

“For me, it was very humbling because this is an award that comes from the management team,” Hirschfeld said. “Barry has always been a very special influence in my life. I came from another company about 19 years ago and they’ve treated me like family. It was almost like dad giving you an award for me.”

The award is a fairly new one and this is the second or third time it has been handed out, he said.

“Basically from the management’s perspective, someone who upholds the values of the company and what EMS stands for,” Hirschfeld said.

Both he and Straf did not expect the award.

“I didn’t expect anything -- I thought we were just doing our job and I know I’ve been quoted as saying this before but I would hope somebody would do that for our children because both Kelly and I are fathers,” Hirschfeld said. “I would like to think someone would do that if it was my kids in the building. It was very humbling and not expected.”

All the awards except the President’s Awards are voted on by the employees and recognize their achievement during the last year.

Organizations: EMS, Royal Canadian Humane Society

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