Gene Pugliese and Mike Neville, two Kawartha Lakes paramedics, recently walked away with exemplary service medals from the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs 2017 annual general meeting in Ottawa.
The exemplary service medal recognizes pre-hospital emergency medical service professionals who have performed their duties in an exemplary manner, with the highest standard of good conduct, industry and efficiency for more than 20 years.
Mike Neville has been a paramedic for 50 years, starting his career first at a hospital as an operating room porter, then with Ajax Pickering Ambulance Service in 1975. In the year 2,000, that service was ‘downloaded’ to Durham Region.
Neville was a supervisor for 18 years and for the last 14 years he has served part time with Kawartha Lakes.
“I enjoy helping people in their time of need,” Neville tells The Lindsay Advocate, including “the young and the elderly.”
He says with every day being slightly different from the last one “there is never a dull moment.”
Neville also enjoys helping new paramedics learn the skills “that only comes with hands-on experience.”
For Gene Pugilese, he has been a paramedic for 23 years, with the majority of his career as an advanced care paramedic, with six years of service in Kawartha Lakes.
“The best part of being a paramedic is knowing you have helped so many people get through probably one of the worst days of their lives,” says Pugilese.
“Saving a life is always extremely rewarding, but on a daily basis it’s knowing you make a positive contribution to your community,” he says.
Keith Kirkpatrick, chief of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services, says he congratulates both men on this well-deserved distinction.
“Gene and Mike are stellar paramedics who I am proud to have known and worked with for decades,” says Kirkpatrick.
“These men are an example of the best that our profession has to offer.”