President's Message

Presidents Report - by Chris Hood

2010 AGM - Saint John, NB, October 15, 2010

Chris Hood Thank you for attending our 14th Annual General Meeting here in Saint John, in my home province, where the Loyalists landed so many years ago to settle. I hope you take the time to tour around this historic city and southern New Brunswick in general.

I also want to take the time to thank all the Chapters of the Association who have generously given me the opportunity to continue my work as President, for an additional 3 year-term.

The Association remains to have as it's foundation a number of key guiding principles:

  1. Ensuring Competent practitioners through Quality Education;
  2. Promoting high standards of practice ;
  3. Promoting a "Best Practices" approach to care;
  4. Promoting appropriate Health Human Resource Planning

All of these guiding principles have as a common thread, the link back to the protection of the public interest and the paramedic profession.  With all of this in mind I remain convinced that the public/professional interest is best served by a body that truly represents these guiding principles at a national level, and that body is the Paramedic Association of Canada.

To sum up the last year of my 3-year term as President I would use the word “fluid”.   As you must be aware, we have faced some challenges in the past year.  While there is much to celebrate and many ongoing relationships that we must be proud of, to say that the paramedics across this country are well represented would not be true.  In the last year we have unfortunately lost another key chapter from the group, that being the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics.

While their choice to leave was based on their perceived conflict with being a regulator and also part of a professional association, the lack of cohesiveness within this profession nationally has many concerned, including myself.  I can tell you that I shoulder this loss personally and have made it a commitment to remedy this lack of truly "National Representation" for the practitioners of this profession.

Today we will be presenting to you a body of work that is the result of the renewal process for the National Occupational Competency Profile, the document utilized by all facets of our profession to define and drive the profession from the educational, regulation, accreditation, and operational levels.  If approved these documents will be the foundation for the profession over the next number of years.  While it is recognized that there are areas of this work that can be improved, such as the integration of high fidelity simulation as a terminal performance environment, the NOCP is the most up-to-date and accurate document from which this profession can move forward.

With that being said, it is also important that you understand that there has been some challenge to the validity and use of this document.  This challenge has been coming from an upstart group called the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators.  This group has challenged us in the validity of the PAC developing a competency profile, stating their position, that the development of competencies is the prevue of the regulators.  While PAC would agree with their legal authority to define the scope of practice for the profession, the development of competencies and other necessary professional standards documents (competencies, blueprinting) is a collaborative project for all stakeholders of the profession, including educators, regulators, employers and professional associations.  We have reason to believe that we can overcome these hurdles, and that in the very near future that both organizations will come together to work collaboratively for the common good of the profession.

When I look at the past 3 years I am truly amazed at the number of passionate people that I have met and learned from.

In closing I would be remiss if I did not thank a number of people that I am proud to call colleagues and friends. Pierre, Dwayne, Donna and Eric, I have learned so much from each of you over the past three years. I am humbled by your knowledge and the leadership that you have shown me.  As well I must thank my employer, the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick, who through their generosity has allowed me to take precious time to give, in a small way, back to the profession that I am proud to be a member of.

As we move forward with another year, I am sure that we will face additional challenges.  We will not always come to the table with the same thoughts and ideas. I encourage each and every one of you to express yourselves and your positions openly and with the passion that I know you have. It is only with this kind open dialogue that we can move this organization forward.

Sincerely,

Chris Hood,  President

Paramedic Association of Canada