Family affair: Cousins serve P.E.I. as police officer, paramedic

For Samantha Lowe and Jordan MacKinnon, serving their community is a family affair.

After growing up together in Nova Scotia, cousins Lowe and MacKinnon find themselves working side-by-side in high-stress careers on P.E.I.

Lowe is a constable with Charlottetown police on P.E.I. and MacKinnon is an advanced care paramedic with Island EMS. 

Lowe and MacKinnon are close in age and had a close relationship growing up.  "We actually grew up on our family farm at home," said Lowe. "So we've been together since we were kids."

The pair also attended the same school and lived together with Lowe's parents during their teen years, said MacKinnon.

MacKinnon has been on P.E.I. for more than seven years.  She came to the island to attend Holland College in order to complete the required courses to become a paramedic. 

Lowe came to the Island last year to attend the police academy and was subsequently offered a job for the summer with Charlottetown police in May. 

MacKinnon said the time she lived on P.E.I. without Lowe was probably the longest period they have been apart.

The fact her cousin lived on the Island helped her make the decision to accept the job and helped her transition to living on the Island, said Lowe. 

"It was easier because it was family," she said. "Even just to know that she's there if needed. It's always nice to have that around."

Travis Kingdon/CBC News

The two now are living together once again.  With the demanding nature of their careers, living with someone who works in the same field helps, Lowe said.

"It is a lot easier because we can kind of feed off of each other," she said.

Currently, Lowe and MacKinnon work overlapping shifts. Since police and EMS often respond to the same calls, the two may find themselves responding to the same call in the future, said Lowe.

Rewarding career

The two have another thing in common. They both enjoy the challenges and rewards of their jobs. 

"Every day is different," said Lowe. "So, you never know what you're gonna run into. So it's almost like the excitement of something new. It's always exciting to go into work and people that I work with are great, too."

For MacKinnon, it's much the same.

"I just always look forward to never knowing what I'm going to do," said MacKinnon. "I come into work and just it's always different. It's always a new challenge.

"I definitely always look forward to coming into work," she said.

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