Husband and wife paramedic duo receive Exemplary Service medals

·2 min read
Paramedics Scott and Maureen Sturgeon are shown holding their Exemplary Service awards. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Paramedics Scott and Maureen Sturgeon are shown holding their Exemplary Service awards. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

A husband and wife duo from Beaverbank, N.S., are among 23 Nova Scotia paramedics who have been awarded the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal.

The award is a national honour in recognition of their longtime dedication to the health, safety and wellbeing of Nova Scotians.

Scott and Maureen Sturgeon have both been working as paramedics for over 20 years.

"The job has certainly changed a lot since I first began working as a paramedic," said Scott Sturgeon. "It's always an adventure, you never know what you're going to be getting into in the run of the day."

The Sturgeons met more than two decades ago when they were in school training to become paramedics. Scott Sturgeon works in the field as a paramedic, while his wife worked as a paramedic for 18 years and is now working in the medical communications centre where she assists paramedics in the field.

"I'm extremely honoured to receive this award," said Maureen Sturgeon. "With our job we are just bringing some calm to chaos and we are just there to help."

Mentors to new paramedics

This week (May 22-28) is national Paramedic Services Week.

The Sturgeons were on vacation when the medals and plaques were handed out two weeks ago, but they were presented with them this week by their supervisor Greg Wolfe.

"Scott and Maureen Sturgeon exemplify and embody the industry that we service," said Wolfe, the regional manager of operations with Emergency Health Services.

"Both are advanced-care paramedics and both have been mentors for new staff that are coming in to begin their careers."

Rewarding, but sometimes tough

Scott Sturgeon said the job of a paramedic is a rewarding one because they are the first ones to help people who are having medical issues. But doing the job year in and year out for a long time can take a toll.

"You go from one call that might be the delivery of a child or maybe it's an intervention that saves someone's life and that is so rewarding," said Scott Sturgeon. "But on the opposite side of the spectrum you might be having a conversation about the passing of a loved one."

The Sturgeons are careful not to share too much information about each other's day when they come home from work.

"We can kind of tell by the look on our faces what kind of a day it was and whether or not we might need a little bit of time and space," said Maureen Sturgeon. "We don't dwell on things but we know that we are there for each other if we need something, which is really special."

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