Parrsboro paramedics honoured for exemplary service
During ceremony at Province House
PARRSBORO - Growing up in Newfoundland Mike Newman knew early on that he wanted to be a paramedic.
Twenty years later the Nappan resident is working out of the EHS Parrsboro base and was one of 15 Nova Scotia paramedics awarded the Exemplary Services Medal recently by Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant during a ceremony at Province House.
“I remember watching the Rescue 911 show and thinking that’s what I wanted to do,” said Newman. “I couldn’t get the schooling in Newfoundland so I went to school in Prince Edward Island.”
Newman got his first job in Clarenville, N.L. before coming moving to Nova Scotia and working in Pugwash and Amherst before being transferred to Parrsboro approximately five years ago.
“It’s a job that has a lot of good and bad and every call is different, but I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives and being there during what’s a tough time for people,” Newman said. “I feel we make a difference for people.”
Newman was one of three Cumberland County paramedics honoured during the ceremony. All three work out of Parrsboro including John Campbell and Carla Middleburg.
Like other first responders, Newman admitted being a paramedic can be stressful and trying at times. Working as a team and being there for each other during tougher calls really helps with coping and while there are lots of tough calls there are others in which those being cared for and their families are so appreciative of the work being done.
“You do see some things you want to put out of your mind and you hope that tomorrow’s better, but there are other days that are much better,” Newman said. “You feel as though you’re making a difference in someone’s life. You take it day by day.”
He said his work as a paramedic has made him a much more cautious person at home. He often sees thing around the house that remind him of calls he’s responded to and he’s always nervous and more observant with his children.
“I don’t take any chances with anything around the house. I guess I’ve become a worrier,” he said. “Sometimes my wife will go to Moncton and I’m always questioning her about the weather.”