Kelly Williams, a West Print paramedic, is congratulated by colleague Jason Milligan on her award as Canadian Paramedic of the Year. It was Milligan who nominated her for the special recognition.
©Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
ALBERTON, P.E.I. — Kelly Williams is very matter-of-fact about her career choice.
I love what I do,” says the 41-year-old advanced care paramedic from Alberton.
She enjoys the family atmosphere her colleagues have cultivated.
There are cardiac arrests, car accidents and other trauma cases to deal with on a regular basis.
“Sometimes we can have pretty bad days, but it’s the people you’re around, and how you can talk through that and get through it,” she said of the important support network Island paramedics have in one another.
“It’s exceptional,” fellow West Prince paramedic, Jason Milligan says of Williams’ contribution to her profession.
It’s why he nominated her for P.E.I. Paramedic of the Year.
“She’s very well respected amongst her peers,” said Milligan. “A lot of time people think the bad things, the car accidents and the different things we deal with daily, but I bet you 80 per cent of our job is just being polite and nice and civil and having a conversation with somebody when they’re having a bad moment, and Kelly is very good at that.
“She’s a good people person, but when the need arises, she’s very good at her job.”
Milligan was sitting with Williams in her kitchen Monday morning when he made that observation about his co-worker. His nomination resulted in her receiving the provincial award in May and then the inaugural National Paramedic of the Year award last Friday during the Paramedic Association of Canada 2017 Expo in Quebec City.
“It was just so awesome to be able to go,” Williams said. “This whole conference was focused around the future of paramedicine,” she added, explaining the profession is constantly changing.
“I learned lots of stuff, met lots of people, plus I got this award.”
Williams, an Alberton town councillor, has 21 years experience as a paramedic, having started out with Rooney’s Ambulance in Alberton and then with West Prince Ambulance in O’Leary until Island EMS took over the delivery of ambulance service Island-wide. She’s been an advanced care paramedic since 2012.
She not only enjoys learning new things about her profession, she imparts that on others, facilitating labs for the paramedic program at Holland College.
“It helps me learn. That’s why I go, and then you meet the new population coming out, which is nice,” she commented.
She also gives classroom sessions in West Prince and field training at the fire school for firefighters. She’s a captain with the Alberton Fire Department where she has volunteered for 20 years.
She also does shifts in the Collaborative Emergency Care department at Western Hospital and sometimes spells off in the region’s Rapid Response Unit.