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A hero rewarded - RQHR EMT wins Public Heroes Award


In January, RQHR EMT Kate Giesinger won the Regina Intercultural Dialogue Institute’s– an organization that promotes cross-cultural awareness – Public Heroes Award. Giesinger has worked the past 33 years in Regina as an EMT. The following is an excerpt of what Ken Luciak, Director of Emergency Medical Services, had to say.

Kate Giesinger and Ken Luciak
Kate Giesinger and Ken Luciak at the awards ceremony.

However, in the paramedic world, as in other emergency services, their idea of what is “normal” is very different from what society may consider “normal,” and it is for that reason that their concept of a “hero” is going to be different.

Most days paramedics go to work, respond to those in need, find themselves in dangerous situations, do remarkable things and help save lives. Last year alone, Regina paramedics were instrumental in saving 20 lives from cardiac arrest alone. Twenty people, once dead, with no heartbeat and not breathing, walked out of hospital, physically and neurologically intact because of the actions of paramedics like Kate. Yet, in the emergency services world, they call that a day at work. So, what makes a person like Kate remarkable in the context of a world that has been described as “their normal”?

Well, the Intercultural Dialogue Institute got it right when they said they were looking for heroes who demonstrate altruism, dedication and community involvement. During Kate’s 33 years, she has been a preceptor, field trainer, role model and coach to hundreds of pre-hospital care providers during their clinical time on ambulance here in Regina. This is something that Kate does over and above her work as an EMT.

Preceptorship is a teaching method that uses people like Kate as gatekeepers for their profession. In addition to coaching and mentoring a rookie EMT, she also evaluates and determines whether the student is prepared to graduate and sit for their licensing examination. This is a responsibility that is not taken lightly.

Kate’s years of street experience have also helped her provide the best possible care for her patients. It is this experience that helped her and her partner once diagnose and begin treatment for a patient with a pulmonary embolism. The patient, who had been misdiagnosed numerous times, thanks Kate and her partner for saving his life every time he sees her.

Anyone who has ever worked with Kate has seen her genuine caring nature. She takes pride in taking the time to do seemingly little things that really make a difference to both her patients and their families. Whether it is explaining the findings of a medical assessment and treatment plan to an anxious patient, or taking the time to console a grieving family member, Kate comes through.

When not actively working as an EMT, Kate is busy organizing and coordinating public outreach events that familiarize and educate the community about paramedicine and safety.It is Kate’s love for the job and her commitment to patient contact that has kept her caring for her patients. When asked if she would do it again, she answered: “In a heartbeat.”

It is because of her altruism, dedication to her profession and community involvement that makes her the logical recipient of this “Public Heroes Award.