Canadian paramedics lost in the line of duty recognized at Memorial Bell service

Northumberland Paramedics Honour Guard stand next to Memorial Bell

Cobourg, ON – December 2, 2020 – Canadian civilian and military para­medics who have lost their lives in the line of duty were honoured at a service hosted today by Northumberland Paramedics. This service kicked off a three-day tour through the county of the Paramedic Memorial Bell—a monument recognizing those who have died while serving their communities.

The Paramedic Memorial Bell, coordinated by the Paramedic Memorial Foun­dation, is a transient monument, travelling through communities each year as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness and funds for the construction of a stationary national monument to memorialize fallen paramedics. The Memo­rial Bell sits atop a three-tiered wooden base, where the 51 names of those being honoured are engraved onto small plates, dating as recent as this year and going back to 1980.

“Today, we have gathered on this solemn occasion to recognize the men and women who, while serving as military or civilian paramedics, lost their lives in the line of duty,” stated Chief Susan Brown. “Northumberland Paramedics are privileged to host the Paramedic Memorial Bell this week – a tribute to these individuals. By reading each name inscribed on the bell, we bear witness to the ultimate sacrifice made by these first responders while serving their com­munity; honouring individuals who are gone but never forgotten.”

In a typical year, the Memorial Bell is part of the Paramedic Memorial Ride tour—an inter-provincial cycling journey. With this year’s rides cancelled due to COVID-19, organizers have arranged for the Bell to tour between paramed­ic services across Ontario for local ceremonies. This tour started on June 12th, in Windsor, under the care of Essex-Windsor EMS.

The month of December marks the wind-down of this tour, as the bell travels between the remaining Eastern Ontario services before making its way to Ot­tawa for a closing ceremony on Parliament Hill. Northumberland Paramedics took possession of the Bell from Ornge—Peterborough paramedic service on December 1st, and will tour it to various sites throughout the county before handing it off to Hastings Quinte Paramedic Service on Saturday, December 5th.

“This morning we will stand in respectful silence and pay tribute to these fallen heroes, as the bell tolls 51 times,” said Warden Bob Sanderson. “As this mon­ument makes stops across Ontario on its journey to Ottawa this year, let it be a reminder of the individuals who responded to the call of duty despite signifi­cant personal risk. And let us express our gratitude for the paramedics who continue to carry the torch, and deliver the vital pre-hospital healthcare that keeps our community safe, strong and healthy.”

For more information about the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Foundation, visit the Paramedic Memorial website.