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Paramedics race against PTSD GREGG CHAMBERLAIN

dozen paramedics who serve as part of Prescott-Russell Ambulance Service (PRAS). Lafrance and his fellow paramedic, Carl Surprenant, 26, will both represent Prescott- Russell on the two-week ride fromOttawa to Washington, DC. Raphaël Desautels, ano- ther PRAS paramedic, is also on board as one of the drivers of the support van for the ride. Lafrance is on the tour as far as Boston, MA, while Surprenant and Desautels are both going all the way to DC. During the

About a hundred paramedics rolled into Hawkesbury, late on a sunny Saturday afternoon, each one riding a bike, and escorted by police, fire trucks, and ambu- lance units. They’re all back on the road now, pedalling as hard as they can to get to Washington, D.C. before the Victoria Day weekend. They’re all part of

first week of the ride, they and their fellow cyclists are riding under the Capital- to-Capital banner. The last week will see their group join up with the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, as they roll through the Ame- rican Eastern Sea-

Before the legislation was passed, an Ontario paramedic suffering PTSD and applying for assistance had to name a specific “trigger event” that caused the condition. The new legislation recognizes that PTSD may result from an accumulation of stress due to dealing with traumatic events and not any one particular incident.

the Capital to Capital International Bike Ride, paramedics from every county and municipality from across Ontario and some who came up from south of the border.They all have one goal in mind: boost awareness,

Paramedics Pierre-Paul Lafrance (left) Raphaël Desautels, and Carl Surprenant will represent the Prescott-Russell Ambulance Service in the Capital to Capital tour. Lafrance is cycling as far as Boston while support driver Desautels and cyclist Surprenant are going all the way to Washington, D.C. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

both for the general public and among their fellow paramedics, of the risk that they and others like them face of some day maybe having to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. “It’s important to raise awareness,” said Pierre-Paul Lafrance, 29, one of several

board and on to Washington. Saturday in Hawkesbury was one of the layover points on the ride. The group of 100 cyclists gathered inside the PRAS station on Cameron Street for a bathroom “pit stop” and a cool down before supper. “It’s beautiful to see you all,” said Louis Ra-

thier, PRAS deputy-chief. “The United Coun- ties of Prescott and Russell are proud to be part of this awareness campaign. This will provide a better life for our workers and a better life for their families.” Rathier noted that the UCPR has put in place a support program for paramedics who are diagnosed with PTSD as a result of the stress they endure through dealing with traumatic situations, while dealing with accident victims and people injured as a result of other causes. “And we are proud of that,” he said. Lafrance noted that he himself does not have problems with PTSD, but he added that recent provincial legislation approval has nowmade it easier for his fellow paramedics, who are diagnosed with the condition, to get both financial and program support to deal with PTSD. Before the legislationwas passed,

an Ontario paramedic suffering PTSD and applying for assistance had to name a speci- fic “trigger event” that caused the condition. The new legislation recognizes that PTSD may result from an accumulation of stress due to dealing with traumatic events and not any one particular incident. “Now there’s no ‘maybe’ if you’re dia- gnosed with PTSD,” he said. Surprenant, who has been involved in organizing this year’s ride, noted that the focus of the rally is not so much a race to get to Washington, DC, but to have a chance to bond over a common concern. “It’s a chance for us all to talk to each other,” he said.The ride is also a fundraiser for PTSD research and support programs. All of the members of the PRAS chipped in $10 each from their paycheques to present a $1000 donation to the Capital-to-Capital Ride.

Jeunes entrepreneurs recherchés Vous êtes passionné(e) par l’entrepreneuriat collectif et voulez transmettre votre passion et votre expertise à des jeunes entrepreneurs francophones de l’Ontario? Le Conseil de la Coopération de l’Ontario lancera sous peu le projet Jeunes entrepreneurs collectifs. Il s’agit d’un projet d’entre- preneuriat qui vise à former des jeunes francophones de l’Ontario faisant face à des obstacles à l’emploi à l’entrepreneuriat collectif, tout en leur permettant de mettre sur pied de réelles entreprises. Cette initiative, financée par la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario, permettra d’outiller ces futurs entrepreneurs en leur offrant formation et outils afin de les aider à concrétiser leur vision, à orienter leurs entreprises dans la bonne direction tout en renforçant leurs capacités. Le CCO est à la recherche de 20 conférenciers pour des conférences d’une durée de deux à trois heures. Pour tous les détails, rendez vous à l’adresse

Cet investissement dans l’innovation et l’amélioration de l’accès aux soins de santé dont ils ont besoin, pour tous les habitants de l’Ontario, signifie : • 700 nouveaux docteurs et spécialistes • 35 hôpitaux actuellement en voie de rénovation, de modernisation ou d’expansion • 250 millions de dollars investis dans les soins à domicile et en milieu communautaire • 345 millions de dollars investis pour réduire les temps d’attente et améliorer l’accès aux soins

Cette année, le financement de notre système de santé va augmenter de plus d’un milliard de dollars.

Pour un système de soins de santé vigoureux aujourd’hui et demain.

Payé par le gouvernement de l’Ontario

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