Toronto Paramedic Services Hosts Citizenship Ceremony During Annual Paramedic Services Week

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Toronto Paramedic Services Chief Gord McEachen and Citizenship Judge Albert Wong hosted a citizenship ceremony in Toronto this morning, with Judge Wong conferring citizenship on 30 new Canadians as their families and friends observed.

“Canadian citizenship is a privilege and honour,” said Judge Wong. “These new citizens are now vested with all the rights of Canadians.”

“On behalf of the dedicated women and men in our service, it is my privilege to host you today, not only as part of our Paramedic Services Week celebrations but also in honour of Canada’s 150th year,” said Chief McEachen.

The guests learned about the services Toronto Paramedic Services provides to the community, including responding to as many as 800 calls a day to 911 for emergency medical assistance in Toronto.

An emergency medical dispatcher can respond to phone calls made to 911 in about 170 languages by connecting callers to interpreters. New Canadians are advised to tell the dispatcher that they require interpretation of their call. They can be connected to an interpreter in seconds.

The audience learned that the most important information to have ready when calling 911 for medical help is their address or location, and the caller should be able to tell the dispatcher briefly what happened. With that information, the dispatcher can promptly dispatch paramedics.

Toronto Paramedic Services, which employs 125 emergency medical dispatchers and 1,074 paramedics, responds to about 300,000 calls a year for medical assistance.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto will honour Canada’s 150th birthday with “TO Canada with Love,” a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.

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Media contact: Kim McKinnon, Toronto Paramedic Services, 416-392-2255, kim.mckinnon@toronto.ca