OPA AWARDS GUIDELINES
Members of the Ontario Paramedic Association may log into our provincial website to submit award nominations. Primary chapter members must log into their own website to submit award nominations. You may nominate paramedics, support staff, media, politicians and citizens.
Provincial Award Nomination Portals:
Ontario Paramedic Association Awards
There shall be six standard categories of Ontario Paramedic Association awards:
- Appreciation Awards
- Long Service Awards
- Exemplary Service Awards
- Acts of Valour Awards
- Media Awards
- Amanda Finch Memorial Awards
The committee, under advisement from the OPA Executive, may add awards to this list as deemed necessary.
The Appreciation Awards shall be a multiple level award presented to persons who have provided support & or assistance to the OPA. The specific type of award shall be determined by the level of support rendered and is not limited to members.
Long Service Awards
The Long Service Awards shall consist of a plaque to be presented to OPA members in good standing who have reached at least 25 years of service in EMS and are active as of the date of nomination. Nominees may be involved at the administrative, educational or field level but must all remain certified to work as a paramedic in Ontario.
Nominations must be accompanied with a letter from the current employer & any documentation supporting the years of service. Nominations can be accepted at any time with presentations being made annually. The OPA will not be responsible for members who are not recognized if they are not nominated.
Exemplary Service Awards
The Exemplary Service Awards shall be a plaque presented annually to OPA members in good standing only when the following criteria are met:
- The nominee must be active in any facet of the provision of pre-hospital emergency care
- The nominee must not have personally gained from the service performed (i.e. financially or through professional advancement as recognition for the nominee's service).
- The nominee must have a history of exemplary service as attested to by the committee through the use of interviews, news articles or any other means at their disposal.
The nominee shall have exhibited in their career the ideals of Paramedicine;
- Commitment to patient care
- Commitment to professional growth
- Commitment to fellow Paramedics
- Commitment to positive public awareness of the profession
Special Note: This award may be presented posthumously.
Act of Valour Awards
The Act of Valour Awards shall be awarded to Paramedics for acts of valour or provision of care under extreme conditions. Valour is defined as: "Strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness".
The award shall be presented under the following circumstances:
- The local chapter or OPA member submits the name of a nominee with full disclosure of events, circumstances & performance of the nominee during the event. There shall be no compromise of patient confidentiality. The event for which the paramedic is nominated must have taken place within 2 years of the presentation of the award.
- The committee shall determine if the nominee acted in a manner showing above average performance during extreme conditions. It shall be determined if the patient or personnel were put in danger by the actions of the nominee. If the danger present to the patient was such that the action taken by nominee is justifiable to assure patient safety, then the award may be presented.
Special Note: This award may be presented posthumously.
The Media Awards shall be presented annually to a member of the media or a news agency who consistently & correctly report about paramedics and the profession in a positive manner.
It is important that Media Awards meet at least two prerequisites from the following criteria:
- Correct use of "Paramedic" terminology rather than "EMS", "Ambulance" or "Emergency Workers"
- Correct use of "injury prevention" terminology such as "crash, collision, wreck, incident, event" rather than the outdated term "accident" (which incorrectly implies an act of fate)
- Factual and balanced reporting with reference to evidence based medical information and is devoid of propaganda
The selection of the Media Awards recipient shall be based upon links to news articles, features, editorials, photos, etc, submitted with regards to the nominee.
Amanda Finch Memorial Awards
The Amanda Finch Memorial Awards is an education award that shall be presented annually to the Primary Care Paramedic graduate who best exemplifies positive professionalism, maintains academic proficiency, possesses strong leadership skills & shows consistent enthusiasm towards the profession. One graduate may be recognized from each Ontario college paramedic program.
The award will consist of a plaque & 2 year full membership in the Ontario Paramedic Association. Selection will be based upon information provided to the committee by the respective college paramedic program administrators.
Other Associated Awards
EMS Exemplary Service Medal
This federally recognized award is presented by the Governor General. The EMS Exemplary Service Medal is not merely a long service medal. It is first and foremost awarded to those eligible members of the pre-hospital EMS community who have served for at least twenty (20) years in a meritorious manner. It recognizes those professionals who have performed their duties in an exemplary manner, characterized by the highest standards of good conduct, industry and efficiency. To qualify, at least ten (10) of those years of service must have been street level duty involving potential risk to the individual. Nominees must have been employees on or after October 31, 1991, but may now be active, retired or deceased. If you feel the individual under consideration meets these criteria, please go to:
www.ontarioparamedic.ca/downloads/policies.html for nomination forms. The nominee's current employer is normally the nominating authority. Only under exceptional circumstances is a peer allowed to nominate. The form should be accompanied by a supporting letter and any documentation, newspaper clippings, etc which further acknowledges the individual's accomplishments.
The OPA encourages our members to recognize excellence in our EMS system. If you have any questions about this award, please contact us. Further information about the Canadian Honours System can be found on the Governor General's website at
Awards Committee Structure / Terms of Reference
There shall be three (3) full OPA members in good standing appointed by the executive to stand on the awards committee. A Director from the OPA board shall be appointed to liaise with the committee & may or may not be part of the committee.
The purpose of the Awards Committee is to accept nominations and make recommendations to the OPA Board of Directors for final approval of award recipients.
Terms of service on the awards committee shall be for a maximum of 4 years. The committee shall endeavour to have continuity from year to year as much as possible. One committee member shall be elected as Chairperson by the committee members.
Nominations for awards can be made at any time by OPA members in good standing & will be presented annually during the OPA conference or at the Annual General Meeting, except in the case of the Amanda Finch Memorial Award which will be presented at the time of graduation / invocation / commencement of the recipient.