"Working within our communities, with our communities, for our community" is the slogan for Wheatland & District Emergency Medical Services Association (WADEMSA). But right now it's time for someone within the community to work with the Wheatland & District Emergency Medical Services Association to help the community.

So how can you help? The WADEMSA is looking for a hard-working and calm under pressure operator for 911 emergency calls and dispatch, as well as primary care paramedics and advanced care paramedics.

Operations manager for Wheatland & District Emergency Medical Services Kevin Link explains thinking fast and adapting to the situation is a key quality for someone looking to fill this position. 

“It's kind of zero to 100 you're sitting idle and you don't know if that next call might be for a large fire or a large motor vehicle accident. For one event maybe you'll get one or two calls and in the next event 30-40. It's a single dispatch centre, so our dispatchers have to multitask well, so they're answering 911 calls and they're also dispatching multiple agencies at fire departments plus continuing to put calls through to police and EMS. It's very stressful and our dispatchers that do it, do it well and it's impressive to watch them.”

Link also spoke on the need for casual help for the WADEMSA.

“Currently the majority of our staff are local Strathmore or Wheatland County. We have a couple of casuals from Calgary but the majority are local people. Right now we're looking mostly for casuals to help facilitate our full-time staff, so it's easier to get time off, sick coverage, vacation coverage and stuff like that. So that's what we're looking for with our posting. That's what we're hoping to find.”

New hires can be expected to be trained in a 16-hour online emergency fire dispatch course in handling dispatch calls. If you are interested in applying for the position send your resume to klink@wheatlandems.com.

EMS shortages aren’t just affecting cities, rural areas are also seeing big concerns with staff retention and shortages as Link illustrates. 

“I've been here twenty-eight years and in the first twenty-five or so years I maybe couldn't staff a shift, one or two times. It's happened dozens and dozens of times in the last year, where we can't staff cars and people are burned out. We have new people that come and in a very short time, they're already second-guessing their career choice, and they're moving on. It's a very difficult career. It takes a toll on our staff. I've been here for 28 years, but I've been a paramedic for 33 years. Honestly, it's been an amazing career for me and my family. But nobody can do this job for a long time without experiencing some type of trauma.”

If you think that you would be a good fit for this position or the positions of Primary Care Paramedics and Advanced Care Paramedics, don't hesitate to email Link and share your talents with an organization dedicated to helping those in our community in an urgent need of care.