After over 20 years of experience as a Red Cross volunteer, Prince Albert paramedic and Director of Public Affairs for Parkland Ambulance, Lyle Karasiuk, received the Order of the Red Cross during a Prevention and Safety conference in Toronto on Oct. 26.
Karasiuk was recognized for his ongoing dedication to the organization. He called the experience both “incredible and humbling.”
“I was quite surprised by the fact I was receiving the recognition,” said Karasiuk. “It is a completely humbling experience, it’s unique and I’m very honoured to receive it.”
Thanks to an enthusiastic letter of support from his colleagues, Karasiuk was welcomed at the member level, the highest honour one can receive as a volunteer. This can be attributed to his wide and diverse experience at the local, provincial, national, and international level during his 22 years with the Canadian Red Cross.
“Lyle is proud to wear the Canadian Red Cross emblem over his heart as his connection to our mission is genuinely heartfelt,” the letter reads. “As one of our most treasured volunteers, he is truly deserving of this honour and will undoubtly wear an ORC pin proudly over his heart.”
Karasiuk said he initially started with the humanitarian organization because of his inquisitive nature and desire to help others.
“I think it was my ‘oh, I can help you with that’, kind of response. I’ve had a huge volunteer portfolio in this community and continue to maintain that,” said Karasiuk. “As I had gotten more and more involved with the Red Cross, others started recognizing my accomplishments and talents.”
From his role as a Master Instructor Trainer for the First Aid and CPR program, sitting as Chair on the Canadian Council for First Aid, becoming a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee for Saskatchewan, and representing the Canadian Red Cross as a contributor to the International Journal of First Aid Education and the 2021 IFRC First Aid and Resuscitation education guidelines; Karasiuk’s presence within the organization and dedication to humanitarian service over the last two decades has led him to where he is today.
“I always say when I teach a class or when I travel, both in my work as a council chair and as a Master Instructor Trainer, that I’m blessed with the opportunities to meet such wonderful people and do some amazing things,” said Karasiuk. “I’m really pleased to be a part of it and thankful that they recognize me in such a way.”
The Order of the Red Cross pin, a 10-carat gold plated cross medal, recognizes extraordinary people for their work with the Red Cross both at home and abroad. Karasiuk’s other accomplishments include being named Prince Albert ‘s 2014 Citizen of the Year, receiving the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Governor General of Canada Emergency Medical Services Medal, and two Queen’s Jubilee Medals.
Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald