Association News: The 2024 Quarterly Report

A Message from Len Stelmaschuk – Association President

Greetings to the Paramedic Community

First off, thank you to everyone out there making a difference. We know you’re working hard and facing a number of challenges as well.

I wanted to take the opportunity as President to say that the team at the Association has been working hard behind the scenes to make a difference for you and the profession. The year is moving very fast and I wanted to communicate with the progress as of to date. 

In this communication, I have requested that each Director provide a brief summary of their projects and volunteer activities.

Our team here is small, but mighty, and committed to making a real professional difference! This year our team doubled down in taking on many paramedicine projects with the aspiration to improve the APA and positively advocate for provincial paramedicine advancements.

As you begin the read, I am happy to announce that I’m part of the new provincial Alberta Emergency Medical Services Standing Committee (AEMSSC). There are many great people from all over the province on this very committee. This AEMSSC is looking at EMS across the province, the Paramedics who work within it, and the changes that could occur.

Additionally, in the hopes to start a dialogue and represent you on this three year committee. I have Two simple yet important questions to ask.

You can send your answer to me directly to or respond on our social media feeds:

SUBJECT LINE: The Paramedic Profession in Alberta

1. What is the one thing you like about working as a Paramedic in Alberta? 

2. If you could change one thing in the paramedic profession, what would it be?

In closing, I am pleased with the work done thus far this year on a provincial and national level and am proud to be representing all of you. Have a great Paramedics Week, we look forward to hearing from you and celebrating you!

Len Stelmaschuk, ACP, MAL


Alberta Paramedic Association

A Message from Jason Spears – Association Vice-President

Dear members;

Over the last few month’s I have been active on multiple fronts including working with a partner agency to secure a provincial grant funding to offer mental health-resiliency workshops in collaboration with Wounded Warrior Canada.

Soon we will be releasing our workshop schedule with sessions being offered in Edmonton, Calgary and other provincial locales. Unlike other similar workshops, these will have the added focus of also aiming to engage and support first responder families. These sessions will be open to both APA and non-APA paramedics and their loved ones.

The APA is excited to be able to contribute to the great work already being done in supporting paramedic health and wellness, fitness to practice and the health of all Alberta paramedic families!

Stay tuned for upcoming dates and times for these sessions and please pass along the word when you see our session posters!

A Message from Carl Damour – Association Secretary of Knowledge

Good morning members,

My portfolio includes working on both the liability insurance and the Paramedic Association of Canada files.

In regards, to liability insurance we are currently working in ensuring that all types of paramedic practice benefits from full-insurance coverage.  This includes across Canada and across all practice settings. For example ensuring that precepting, providing education and supervising and managing other paramedics are fully covered through our insurance coverage.

In regards to the Paramedic Association of Canada, we have been working hard at holding those responsible for the privacy breach to account. This means that we are trying to work with other provincial chapters to ensure that PAC completes a thorough investigation and addresses the recommendations in a thorough way.  We are still awaiting the result of the investigation and have repeatedly indicated to PAC that this must be addressed promptly.

The PAC is also wrapping up its work on the new National Competency Framework for Paramedics (NCFP) which will be replacing the existing NOCP.  We will be planning on hosting a virtual meeting with leaders from this project to inform the group on how this historical suite documents will be changing the paramedic landscape in Canada.  Be on the lookout for this exciting continuing competence learning opportunity.

Finally on April 30th, your Association was present in Ottawa for the “Paramedic on the Hill” event where we advocated for Alberta Paramedics alongside with our colleagues from other provinces. We met one-on-one with Senators, MP’s and other government officials to deliver the important message that;

“Paramedics play a pivotal role in ensuring the good functioning of the health system. Paramedics need government support, at both the federal and provincial levels, to continue to do the great work they are doing and to continue to be ready to respond whenever disaster strikes.”

There is also a host of other exciting information and projects going on across the country and I plan on sharing cross Canada information at the upcoming open forum!

Stay tuned for more!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon and know that your APA board recognizes your immense contributions to keeping Albertans, Canadians and the health system safe!

Carl Damour

A Message from Roger Tewson – Association Registrar

Greetings and Salutations Members

As the registrar, I have the honor of keeping the register and roster of the Association.

Currently we have 1041 registered members with the Alberta Paramedic Association. That’s 13% of the paramedics in the Province of Alberta as of today! That doesn’t seem like a large number at first glance, but we are growing and will continue to grow.

The APA Board committed this year to various objectives the least of which is the important work I am responsible for and which includes streamlining the registration and renewal processes. We have heard you and understand that this is a painpoint for many and we are determined to improve upon this.

I am also assisting with other projects such as the creation of member committees and advisory groups that could assist us in reforming our programs and assist our Board on an ad hoc basis. Watch for emails and future postings for more details as they develop !

Lastly, thank you for all your dedication to Albertans and your skilled practice that ensures access to excellent care when emergencies arise in our communities and our province..

Roger S. Tewson, ACP, BA

A Message from Bill Carstairs – Association Treasurer

Hello Association Members!

My name is Bill Carstairs and I am currently responsible for the overall financial operations within the organization.

Recently, we have added EFT for payment processing to suppliers, which reduces administrative expenses and increases payment security.

Currently, we are working on the 2023 year-end financials and improving financial setups and receiving additional assistance in payment processing and accounting entries. Our team believes on transparent reporting and a full financial report will be accessible to APA members during our AGM, which is currently scheduled in December of 2024.

I am confident that with these new financial systems we will now be able to begin the work required to review the organization fee structure and the propositional value of all our offerings. This includes ensuring the long-term sustainability of the our benevolent funds, our education programs and running a web space that facilitate paramedic access to pertinent resources.

Bill Carstairs, CPA, CMA, Treasurer

A Message from Justin Stapley – Board Secretary

Greetings to our growing Paramedic Community!

My name is Justin Stapley and I am the Association Secretary. Aside from my obvious secretary responsibilities , I also have the opportunity to manage aspects of our social media accounts, our webpage and coordinate outgoing correspondences.

Part of my project includes supporting the management of our website transition to a more updated, aesthetically pleasing and user friendly system. Our system changes will be rolled out gradually and is intended to allow members to more easily access member services and resources.

For example, below you will see upcoming events for Paramedics week in addition to some summer events that celebrate Paramedics and First Responders.

Focus Group: APA & CMHA Paramedic Mental Health Programs

The APA and the CMHA have begun their focus group survey to all members and non-members whom are paramedics in Alberta, to get raw data on how we can create meaningful, supportive e-learning programs that would help reinforce resiliency, education on resource access, burn-out management specifically designed for the paramedic practitioner.

As their main liaison within the Alberta Paramedic Association, we look forward to releasing this program in the fall of 2024

Additionally, you can fill out the FOCUS GROUP SURVEY here

First Responders Night

Being one of the main liaisons with the organization, we have been assisting the Edmonton River Hawks in hosting a 3rd year of First Responders night in the City of Edmonton on July 5th at Remax Field. This event has doubled in attendance in the last couple years and we expect to sell out the event this year.

Do not miss this amazing event in honor of all Paramedics & Responders.

Click the link to see the promo schedule for the 2024 season

The First Responder Rodeo

Established since 2018, this must see summer event will be happening on July 13 2024 at the Kinsmen Rodeo Grounds in St.Albert!!

Paramedic Week begins MAY 19 2024.

This year’s theme, “Help Us, Help You” was selected given the current challenges on the healthcare system. The idea brought forward is to provide public campaigns around the appropriate use of 911 systems, and what circumstances may necessitate championing or utilizing other health care system stakeholders or programs.

Edmonton, Calgary and Cochrane & Rocky View will be the location of the events planned for Paramedics Week. More information can be found here: Paramedic Service Week

Want to take in some art?

Then come to the Leduc Arts Foundry and take in the collection, on display, created by Para medic Daniel Sundahl. The majority of Daniel’s work involves emergency services photography. It comprises an emotional connection to the artist as most of his pieces are based on actual emergency calls he has attended as a paramedic and firefighter. He is passionate about reducing the stigma of PTSD for first responders and uses his art to raise awareness of occupational stress injuries worldwide. You can see his additional works here:

Research to Practice: Evidence for Innovation in Paramedicine

Education and Research is critical in the evolution of Paramedical Practice and what the future of Paramedicine could be: Canadian Paramedicine Research Day starts on May 23rd 2024! The Theme?

For more information and to register:

So mark your Calendars for these amazing events that celebrate all Paramedics and Responders along with the families, friends and loved ones that support them.

Did I miss any of your Paramedic Themed events for 2024? And other events you think we should be aware of?

Drop me a line: with the subject line: 2024 Events Promo

And we will promote the event to our members and on our social media platforms.

Justin Stapley

Primary Care Paramedic, KNSS Dip


Please take a few moments to fill out the form. All information and feedback will be used to directly contribute to future mental health programs with the Canadian Mental Health Association

Paramedic Focus Group Survey: A creative partnership with APA & CMHA

The Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) and the Alberta branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) are wanting to collect information on Mental Health from Alberta Paramedics and Emergency Medical Responders. The focus, in by partnering with CMHA Recovery College Course Development Group, we will be able to create accessible programs to assist in the Mental Health of Paramedics and Responders. Please take no more than 10 minutes of your time sharing your thoughts and experiences when it comes to mental health.

Mental Health-General Questions

Supporting Others with Mental Health

Mental Health in the Profession

Recovery College Course Development

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A Foolish Thought?

Why would someone say that these are exciting times for Paramedics? Some would say it seems like a foolish
thought. Maybe this is the time that paramedics should reconsider the future?

The profession of paramedicine has struggled on issues surrounding our knowledge, skills and health and
wellness for literally decades both within our own circles and externally. When it comes to voice, there are
pockets of influence that at times gain bits of traction, but they often spin out and lose ground until the next
perceived big event, where once again, our small voice speaks out but gets lost by the larger voices that occur
from others health professionals.

The recent announcement from our Premier, Danielle Smith and the Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange
has opened a window of opportunity for a moment in time where paramedics across the province can have
their voices heard among the larger voices of nurses and physicians. Both the Premier and the Minister have
recognized the paramedic profession in their communications to Albertans and have announced coming
changes that are on the horizon within our health system.

Have you heard that when a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around, does it make a sound? The
short answer, aside from the philosophical perspective is, yes it does, but the fact is that the lone tree’s
sound (voice) gets lost within the rest of the trees as they absorb the sound, cancelling the lone tree like it
seem like it never happened, or the sound is lost before it can get to the outside world.

Physicians have the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), Nurses have the Alberta Association of Nurses
(AAN), the Nurse Practitioners have the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) and they are strong
and dedicated. Whether you’re already a member, or you’re a non-believer, or you are simply on the outside
looking in because you don’t know, paramedics have access to the Alberta Paramedic Association (APA). Stay
with me! This is important!

Paramedics, and this includes ACP’s, PCP, EMR’s and Students, need a voice among the other professions in
healthcare. I was shown a social media post the other day where someone commented on the recent
provincial announcement and asked, “who’s representing paramedics?”. Can you see the problem? The APA
has been criticized for numerous items from the profession including political perspectives, insurance
communication posts, lack of communication, historical perspective and even comments attacking dress
attire that didn’t meet a perceived standard. Could this criticism be distractors?

The Association is fluid and changes with time. Instead of being part of the solution, we expect miracles to
occur. Some believe with the wave of a magic wand that the paramedic world, our world, will miraculously
change. There’s are some who believe that the APA shouldn’t speak or even work with people who have
different perspectives or work with decision makers that can make change because of a perceived alignment
of a political nature. Yes, I’m talking about NDP, UCP or Liberal political groups to mention the mainstream

There is also criticism about money spent to be part of an association. We would rather purchase liability
insurance endorsed by the regulatory college to avoid perceived spending of supposed worthless fees rather
than build a place of unity or strength. Let me share some facts. The APA charges $125 for a membership.
From that $67 goes towards individual liability insurance, leaving $58 to work with. When you divide $58 into
12 months of the year, that’s a cost per month is $4.83. If you divide that $58 into weeks (52) that’s a cost of
$1.12 per week. Out of the $58/year, $7 goes toward the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), so APA
members can also be part of the national association which can influence the profession of paramedicine at a
federal level and/or be used towards the development of items such as the National Occupancy Profile which

directs paramedic education across Canada. So really the APA uses that $51 that is left over to build,
influence, provide a voice in Alberta, work with government, and create a sustainable HELP fund to achieve
an overarching focus to progress your professional knowledge, skills and health and wellness. That’s less than
$1 per week to support your profession moving forwards.

The founders of the APA believed that the association should not be fronted off the backs of working
paramedics, and it’s not. People volunteer in positions because they believe in the profession, and they work
towards correcting wrong doings and struggles that it’s members (and even non-members) encounter.
The NPAA is making huge wins in the province because they are united and have worked hard on their voice.
In the recent announcements posted by the province, the APA words of support for change were placed next
to the nurse practitioners under the heading of “Primary Care” which is significant. Think about our
profession. We are often referred to as “EMS” or “Community Care”, but we not often referred to as
“paramedics”. Can you imagine a world of paramedics as part of multi-disciplinary teams working along side
other professions in acute care or primary care? I have heard this past year that paramedics are the “Swiss
Army Knife of Health Care”. We bring a magnitude of knowledge to the table along with diverse skill sets. Yes,
we will always most likely have traditional roles of EMS and now community care, but can you also imagine
opportunities to work along side other professions in operating rooms, emergency departments, continuing
care environments, primary care and mental health facilities to name a few?

We need to reset our way of thinking. The APA is not magic, nor is it the same as when it was first started.
Even so, those leaders did the best they could with what they had…and what they had was really nothing
other than vision. If you do any research at all on start up organizations, you’ll find it takes a lot of dedication
to start something out of nothing. We should thank them for that vision.

So, is it a foolish thought to believe that these are exciting times for paramedics? Not really once we consider
the changes that are happening around us; what we can do as a group; and who’s now listening. With that in
mind, what must happen to get us into a future state of a diverse group with unified voices?

  1. Re-examine our messaging. Messaging can bring us together or divide us. The new health model can
    be positive. The APA is not perfect, we have no magic wand. Leadership overall is never perfect.
    However, if we follow basic principles under a common goal, we can make things better for
    paramedics. Start a conversation.
  2. Current members of the APA should attend the AGM on December 1, 2023, and become involved.
    There are current leadership opportunities so take on a role. We need your skills and time to build.
    Attend the AGM
  3. Non-APA members within the profession are encouraged re-examine their options. The APA would
    like you to come on board now and bring your Swiss Army Knives.
    Help the voices travel through
    the forest. We’ll do everything we can to listen and engage you and take action to spread the
    message, plus more hands will lighten the workload. Become a Member
  4. Set a goal of two years to solidify our profession as an extra value to the health system.
    November’s announcement is the biggest change since the inception of AHS in 2009. Let’s get in
    front of it and not waste it. Failure could mean literally decades before an opportunity arises again.

    The APA has the infrastructure already here. It needs some polishing but it’s here. This is the time to come
    together and build our professional future. You can make a difference!

    Len Stelmaschuk, ACP, MAL

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