This Yukon paramedic now has award named after him for 'unwavering dedication'

·2 min read
Jon Trefry (left) is the first recipient and namesake of the Jon Trefry Award, which recognizes unwavering dedication to representing Yukon EMS positively in the community.  (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)
Jon Trefry (left) is the first recipient and namesake of the Jon Trefry Award, which recognizes unwavering dedication to representing Yukon EMS positively in the community. (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)

Paramedics and medical staff are being recognized for their service in Yukon.

The territory's commissioner, Angélique Bernard, handed out 10 Emergency Medical Service Exemplary Service Medals on behalf of the Governor General of Canada during a ceremony Friday.

The medals recognize professionals in pre-hospital emergency medical services, and go to people with more than 20 years of experience in their field.

"I am proud of all the work you have done to serve your community, your territory and your country," said Bernard.

One of the paramedics, Jon Trefry, received a second, local award named after him for "unwavering dedication" to positively representing Yukon EMS in the community.

While introducing the first Jon Trefry Award, Gerard Dinn, the director of emergency medical services, said he appreciates Trefry's habit of checking in and asking paramedics how they're feeling.

"It's a very honouring and humbling award," said Trefry, who has been a paramedic for 37 years.

Ten paramedics and medical staff were recognized with The Governor General of Canada's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Exemplary Service Medal in Whitehorse, Yukon on Friday, May 28, 2021.
Ten paramedics and medical staff were recognized with The Governor General of Canada's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Exemplary Service Medal in Whitehorse, Yukon on Friday, May 28, 2021.(Philippe Morin/CBC)

He's an instructor for a first responders' mental health course called The Working Mind, has worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Yukon and is known for his involvement in community events around Whitehorse.

That includes riding a purple-finned Batman motorcycle in parades or turning his yard into an elaborate Halloween display.

Trefry will be retiring this summer.

He said Yukon EMS has changed and improved over years — particularly when it comes to recognizing the importance of mental health for first responders.

"It has grown leaps and bounds and I couldn't be prouder," he said.

The other paramedics and medical staff recognized this past week for their exemplary service were Cory Danylyshen, Gerard Dinn, Eric Grasholm, Peter Mostyn, Ann-Marie Paquet, Christopher Pope, Shane Skarnulis, Ryan Soucy and Kent Winterbottom.

Randolf Diceman, Patricia McParland, Todd Onsorge are also listed as 2020 recipients of the Exemplary Service Medal on the Governor General of Canada's website.