Government of Yukon

June 6, 2016

Competition tests skills of community emergency medical responders

WHITEHORSE—Community-based Yukon Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) responder teams rose to the challenge as they competed in the annual skills competition held May 28.

“The competition demonstrates that collectively and individually, community first responders are well trained and well prepared to provide emergency medical care in demanding circumstances. The dedication of Emergency Medical Services volunteers is exemplary,” Minister of Community Services Currie Dixon said.

James Donnett from the Carcross team achieved the fastest time in the fitness challenge obstacle course—a new event this year. The Haines Junction team took first place in the 2016 Emergency Medical Services Annual Skills Competition to win the Wortley Cup.

Teams of community responders were presented with realistic scenarios simulating both common and complex emergency response situations. Teams were scored according to their ability to assess the scene, provide appropriate emergency care and prepare patients for transport while keeping themselves and others safe.

“Yukon Emergency Medical Services responders are a vital part of Yukon’s health care system. In most of the Yukon, Emergency Medical Services service is provided by dedicated volunteers who take time from their lives to serve their communities," Minister of Justice Brad Cathers said. "These awards help recognize the outstanding contributions of Emergency Medical Services volunteers across the Yukon."

The skills competition winners were presented with their awards at the Volunteer Ambulance Services Society banquet on May 28, alongside achievement awards for community EMS volunteers:

  • Jules Smith for the Excellence in EMS Award;
  • Patti Wiseman for the Bea Felker Award for leadership excellence by volunteer supervisors;
  • Helena Belanger and Lorraine Graham for the Beyond the Call of Duty Award
  • James Donnett for the Michael McKeage Award for lifting up the volunteers; and
  • Andrew Lawrence for the Excellence in EMS Education Award.

Yukon EMS is responsible for providing emergency transportation and pre-hospital treatment of sick and injured people. Its ground and air ambulance services in communities are provided by a team of full-time paramedics, critical care nurses and a dedicated core of more than 140 volunteers.

For more information on getting involved in your community, call Yukon EMS at 867-456-6593 or 867-456-6594 or visit


See backgrounder below.


Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications

Diana Dryburgh
Communications, Community Services



  • The Excellence in EMS Award is presented to any community EMS attendant who, is skilled as an attendant, has great bedside manner, mentors others, is an unsung hero and a model EMS attendant.
  • The Bea Felker Award is presented to a supervisor who exhibits leadership, is respected by the crew, leads by example and one who exemplifies Bea on the job: punctual, submitting forms on time, dedicated to promoting education, taking the time to teach and is an overall role model.
  • The Beyond the Call of Duty Award is a rare award, often applied to a specific situation. It’s presented to a community EMS attendant who performed beyond what was required, while doing the job safely. This attendant performs unpleasant jobs without complaining and does them well, usually a task that was not in the job description. This award also applies to exhibiting community spirit, not only being part of EMS.
  • The Excellence in EMS Education Award is presented to any community member for receiving or giving education. A member may be selected for receiving education and always pursuing to be the best, sacrificing their time and a commitment to improving their competence. A member may be selected for providing education, being generous with their time, enjoying teaching and being committed to training others.
  • The Michael McKeage Award is presented to any community attendant who lifts up the volunteers, providing encouragement and support among all responders.
  • The Annual Skills Competition, first, second and third place awards are presented to the event winners. The first place team also receives the Neale Wortley Cup.

News Release #16-218