Canadian Paramedics come top in Turkey

The Paramedic Association of Canada along with several Canadian colleagues travelled to Antalya, Turkey for the Paramedik Dernegi (Paramedic Association of Turkey) V. Uluslararasi Paradeik Kongresi Ve Ambulans Rallisi (5th International Paramedic Congress & Rally) on 2nd – 5th November 2017. The Paramedic Association of Canada was pleased to join our other international partners in sponsoring this unique event. The Congress was held at a beautiful resort just outside of the historic city of Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea, often referred to as the Turkish Riviera.

Attendees included several hundred Paramedics from across Turkey along with International attendees from Scotland, Iceland, United States, Qatar, Republic of Ireland and Canada. The diverse international delegates allowed for interesting conversations around the paramedic profession and networking between our international partners such as International Paramedic, Irish College of Paramedics, Paramedic Association of Turkey and the Iceland National Union of Firefighters and EMT-Paramedics.
The Congress began with a one-day competition or rally. Several teams from various regions across Turkey participated as well as one from Canada. The team from Canada included J.D. Heffern, Ben Ripley and Gord Perolli from Ontario. A unique mix of four countries entered a team appropriately named “United Nations. ”Team UN was formed that morning by four individuals who had never met prior to that day. They included Jodi Possia from Canada, Alp Oganalp from Scotland, Njall Palsson from Iceland and Marie Schoppe from the United States.


Teams had to complete one knowledge test and six scenarios that were staged at various locations around the resort, including a scenario in the Mediterranean Sea. Multiple awards were handed out based on individual scenarios. Team United Nations, having never met before, succeeded in winning a few individual scenarios. This is a testament to how similar paramedicine is becoming around the globe as such a diverse group of paramedics can come together and demonstrate delivery of exceptional patient care.

A true celebration was held to award the medals and trophies.This evening event included an abundance of Turkish dance and a suspense-filled room awaiting the announcement of the winners.
The Paramedic Association of Canada is proud to announce that the Grand Prize based on all aspects of the competition was won by the team from Canada! Congratulations to Ben, JD, and Gord for bringing home the trophy!


The congress programme included several speakers from Canada. Pierre Poirier, Executive Director from the Paramedic Association of Canada presented on two topics: Developing Paramedic Standards and the Future of Paramedicine in Canada. Additional Canadian speakers included: Michael Nolan presenting Drones in Cardiac Arrest, J. Albert Walker presenting Special Operations in Nova Scotia Paramedic Services, Matthew Leyenaar presenting Community Paramedicine Research and J.D. Heffern presenting Fentanyl Epidemic in Canada.The international programme was truly diverse as delegates had the opportunity to hear from each country in attendance.

Concluding the programme portion of the congress included Pierre Poirier, Executive Director of the Paramedic Association of Canada presenting the PAC flag to Turkish Paramedic Association President Mr Gürkan Özel.The flag presentation completed the formal relationship between Paramedik Dernegi and the Paramedic Association of Canada.

The 5th International Paramedic Congress & Rally ended with a formal gala featuring traditional Turkish music and dance along with acknowledgement of all those individuals responsible for organising this International event.


Traveling to Turkey has been a great privilege. This unique opportunity to build relationships Internationally is an important component of the Paramedic Association of Canada’s strategic plan. We look forward to building our relationships globally into the future.

The Paramedic Association of Canada hosts a National conference in 2019 in beautiful Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

We look forward to having our new friends and International colleagues join us in Canada in 2019 for Paramedicine Across Canada Expo (PACE), September 19 – 21 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


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