This morning at Toronto Paramedic Services Headquarters in North York, Chief Paul Raftis hosted a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony for 50 new Canadians and their families. The ceremony was led by Citizenship Judge Lilian Klein who presided over the ceremony and administered the oath of Canadian citizenship to the participants.
Chief Raftis said, “In this growing and culturally diverse City it is important for our service to educate our new Canadians, who will use our service in the City of Toronto on what to expect when they call 911 in a medical emergency. Many residents don’t realize that they can call our Emergency Medical Dispatchers in over 150 languages!”
Judge Klein said, “It is always very moving for me to welcome new citizens to the Canadian family. Today, they come from 19 different countries, reflecting the diversity of those who proudly call Canada their home.”
This is the second year Toronto Paramedic Services has hosted a Citizenship Ceremony during Telecommunicator’s Week. Toronto’s Emergency Medical Dispatchers work in an Accredited Centre of Excellence as conferred by the International Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch. Providing 911 service to the residents in over 150 languages is an important component of the service they provide.
While English remains the most frequently used language, about 2,000 times a year Emergency Medical Dispatchers will respond to 911 calls for help in other languages including, Mandarin, Cantonese, Cantonese, Hungarian, Farsi, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, Tamil, Greek, Vietnamese, Spanish, Polish, and Somali.
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. For information on non-emergency City 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 @TorontoComms.
Media contact: Kim McKinnon, Toronto Paramedic Services, 416-392-2255, firstname.lastname@example.org