A brief history of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada:



2007 – In February 2007, the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC), released its blueprint for the future of EMS in Canada that was called “The Future of EMS in Canada: Defining the Road Ahead”. It is better known as “The White Paper” and has defined a national strategy for EMS which embraces six key strategic directions:

Clear Core Identity: Who and what EMS is, clearly and consistently.

Stable Funding: Ensuring the consistent availability of those community resources which are required in order to provide high quality EMS services.

Systematic Improvement: The EMS system must be open to change, and directly accountable for performance in a complex and ever-changing environment. It is not enough to say that EMS is doing a good job; EMS must be prepared to prove this, regularly, consistently, and transparently.

Personnel Development: Paramedics are one of those rare and wonderful groups for whom learning never stops. EMS must ensure that both education and training of staff are sufficiently robust to enable both personal and professional growth for paramedics, as well as the highest quality of care, embracing all new and appropriate technologies in order to provide maximum medical benefit to each patient.

Leadership Support: Just as we no longer put just anyone in the back of an ambulance, we must also ensure that those responsible for the day to day operation and planning of each EMS system have the specific knowledge and skill sets necessary to operate an EMS system at maximum performance.

Mobilized Health Care: As health care in Canada changes and evolves, EMS must change and evolve along with it. EMS is no longer simply a medical transportation service; there are increasing numbers of places in the world where both the role and the scope of practice of paramedics have evolved to provide definitive primary care outside of traditional clinical venues, and paramedic practitioners with the knowledge and skills required to provide such care.


The EMSCC has had five presidents in its short history:

  • Chief Steve Rapanos (former Chief of Edmonton EMS) EMSCC President from 2002 to 2004
  • Chief Tom Sampson (former Chief of Calgary EMS) EMSCC President from 2004 to 2006
  • Chief Bruce Farr (former Chief of Toronto EMS) EMSCC President from 2006 to 2010
  • Chief Michael Nolan (Chief County of Renfrew Paramedic Service) EMSCC President from 2010 to 2012
  • Executive Director Darren Sandbeck (Alberta Health Services South zone) EMSCC President (now known as Paramedic Chiefs of Canada) from 2012 – present

With the guidance of the current 18 member EMSCC Board that represents each province and the territories, it is obvious that the EMSCC collective approach to fostering high quality EMS in Canada has already met with considerable success. A national forum for EMS has been created, along with a highly credible national ‘voice of EMS’ which is beginning to influence all levels of government in ways that, merely a decade ago, would have been regarded as ‘daydreaming’, and all of Canadian EMS benefits, either directly or indirectly, as a result of these activities.


2011 – The EMS Chiefs of Canada release the first edition of their Year in Review publication, providing a snapshot of the association’s activities over the past year, distributed at the annual conference in St. John, Newfoundland.

2012 – The EMS Chiefs of Canada vote on a proposed motion to legally change the name of the association to the ‘Paramedic Chiefs of Canada.’  Tier 1 members voted in favour of the new name and the association commences the work required to reflect this change in their constitution and websites.  The EMS Chiefs release their Community Paramedicine Paper, included in the Year in Review publication and distribute at the annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

2013 – The Paramedic Chiefs of Canada release the ‘National Research Agenda’ – a collaborative effort with the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), led by Chief Doug Socha of Hastings-Quinte EMS. PCC Year in Review 2012/13 (PDF)

2014 – The Paramedic Chiefs of Canada commence work on the National Research Database to resolve data access problems by creating a large nationally based EMS Mega Database for the benefit of all EMS providers and researchers. Project kick off begins to gather detailed information about the physical demands experienced while performing the day to day work of a Paramedic. The PCC works with the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to develop a Canadian Paramedic Services Standardization framework and strategy.

2015 – The Paramedic Chiefs of Canada meet with industry partners to promote or advocate the national EMS Vision by continuing the development of national strategies to position EMS as a critical element of community centre health care to;

  • Develop, lead, and communicate a national PCC strategy to support the national EMS Vision
  • Provide the leadership educational collaborations and opportunities to enable the sustainment of our mobile community based emergency and primary care human resources in Canada;
  • Be the Canadian reference point for scientific/research based paramedic mobile community centered emergency and primary care services;
  • Be the Canadian reference point/repository for the national standards and benchmarks in community based emergency and primary care services; and
  • Be the Canadian spokes organization for mobile community based emergency and primary care services

2016 – PARAMEDIC CHIEFS OF CANADA (PCC) Presentation to Tri-Services Roundtable on Compensation Benefits for Public Safety Officers. Mental Health and Wellness of the first responder community is a high priority. PCC participates in this inaugural national dialogue with Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale on the important issue of PTSD and mental health in the first responder community; an issue that is crucial to the safety of our men & women who serve on the front line.

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