The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Region paramedics honoured for their decades of service

Newmarket – Five York Region paramedics have been recognized for their continued commitment to delivering exceptional service. The awards were presented at two special award ceremonies held recently in Ottawa and Toronto.

Platoon Leaders Vick Bisnath, Paul McPhail and Brett Penfold each received the prestigious Governor General’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal. The award is given to paramedics who have completed 20 years of exemplary service, which includes at least 10 years of work in which there may have been some level of risk.

Award recipients

From left to right: Platoon Leader Brett Penfold; Platoon Leader Vick Bisnath; Honorary Lieutenant General Richard Rohmer representing the Governor General of Canada; Platoon Leader Paul McPhail; Division Chief David Eeles; and Chief and General Manager for York Region Paramedic Services Norm Barrette.

Special Operations Lead Paramedic Lorne Cowx and Lead Community Paramedic Matthew Belanger were also honoured. Both paramedics received the first bar on their Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service medals recognizing 30 years of service. The bars, which show a stylized maple leaf, are awarded to paramedics who complete 30, 40 and 50 years of service with emergency medical services.

Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service medal recipients

From left to right: Special Operations Lead Paramedic Lorne Cowx, Division Chief David Eeles and Lead Community Paramedic Matthew Belanger

“These awards clearly demonstrate the high level of knowledge, experience and commitment our paramedics have and the significant contribution they make to the health and well-being of the residents in our municipalities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “On behalf of York Regional Council and The Regional Municipality of York, I congratulate our paramedics and thank them for their dedication and service to our community.”
The Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal was created in 1994 to recognize paramedics who performed their duties for a minimum of 20 years in a commendable manner. Paramedics also receive a bar on the medal for each additional decade they serve.
“This award is one of the highest honours a paramedic can receive. To be honoured for 20 years or more of service is an incredible achievement,” said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, Chair of Community and Health Services. “We should be proud of the work our paramedics do each day delivering exceptional care to residents and visitors across York Region.”

York Region’s team of over 450 paramedics provide emergency response and community care to York Region residents and visitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Visit us at or follow us on Twitter @YorkParamedics

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents, 51,000 businesses and 600,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Joe Chawla, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 77240,
Phone: 905-806-1216,

Paramedics; York Region; award The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release