After fifteen years in Frontenac County and a 44-year career, Paul Charbonneau, Chief Paramedic of Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) is retiring.
Charbonneau announced his retirement before Frontenac County Council at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. Details of the retirement are still being finalized, according to a press release from the County of Frontenac, but Charbonneau is expected to leave FPS by the end of September.
“I’m very proud of what I have accomplished in my career and especially my time here at Frontenac Paramedic Services serving the citizens of the County of Frontenac and the City of Kingston,” Charbonneau said.
“The team we currently have in place is built on a strong foundation; from the frontline paramedics, to the leadership team, to the administration group, we all have one vision; the best care to the patient.”
Charbonneau’s began his career as a paramedic with the Department of Ambulance Services in Toronto in March 1975. He then managed paramedic services in James Bay and Nipigon, and oversaw the amalgamation of 10 rural services into one regional service, the Superior North EMS.
With that experience under his belt, Charbonneau was well-suited for what laid before him when he joined FPS in September 2004 as Chief Paramedic – At that time, Charbonneau immediately oversaw the transitioning of Kingston Regional Ambulance (Hotel Dieu Hospital), Parham Ambulance and Wolfe Island Volunteer Ambulance Association into FPS as it is today.
“Chief Charbonneau is going to be greatly missed. He’s has been an inspiration to his team and is well respected in the paramedic community,” said Frontenac County Warden Ron Higgins.
“I’ve come to know the Chief as someone who lives and breathes his profession and truly cares about the patients and paramedics.”
Through his career, Charbonneau has held positions with the Ontario Paramedic Association and the Paramedic Association of Canada – Benevolent Society. He is also the Past President of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC), and the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC).
Additionally, Charbonneau is the recipient of the Governor General’s Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal recognizing 40 years of service, as well as the OAPC Lieutenant General Richard Rohmer Commendation, and the OAPC President’s Award of Excellence.
“I’ve worked with Chief Charbonneau during my five years at the County and in that period he’s been an innovative and passionate leader overseeing the construction of new bases at Robertsville, Sydenham and Wolfe Island,” said Kelly Pender, CAO of Frontenac County.
Pender noted that Charbonneau also introduced Collaborative Culture of Safety – sometimes known as Just Culture – to the County of Frontenac.
“He also led the introduction of power stretchers into the service and he is a strong advocate for the mental wellbeing of his paramedics,” Pender said.