Public Safety Begins with Calls to Telecommunicators

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 10-16

“911. What is your emergency?”

It’s a question you never want to answer but the five words you most want to hear when you make a call in a crisis. The voice at the other end of the line belongs to a telecommunicator, the first point contact in an emergency. These “unseen heroes” receive and relay the essential information necessary to ensure the best, most timely and safe response to an urgent situation.

Every year, during the second week of April, telecommunications personnel are honoured for the important role they play in saving lives every day. To celebrate their extraordinary service, we invited the hardworking members of one of our Emergency Medical Dispatch teams to share why they dedicate their lives to public safety.

Pamela Bueckert
"I became a telecommunicator to make a difference every day. The most gratifying part of my job is getting the right help to the right location through deployment; getting someone to do something they were hesitant to do or didn't think they could like CPR, crowd control or delivering a baby; and, of course, having that irate caller sincerely say, ‘thank you’ at the end."

Pamela Bueckert

Emergency Medical Dispatch
Medavie Health Services West - Saskatoon

Chantel Nast
"It takes a certain amount of fortitude to be an Emergency Medical Dispatcher at the best of times but the past two years have been exceptionally challenging. Not only have we been dealing with an exponential increase in call volume while also experiencing a multitude of staffing issues, we have also borne witness to a tidal wave of fear and anxiety as a result of this pandemic. We have experienced a much higher demand for empathy and compassion from patients begging us to remain on the phone to just listen and be there until the paramedics arrive.
“We aren't always able to do this, but we do our best, knowing that sometimes mental and emotional support is just as important as the medical and physical support provided by medical personnel. This is where our strength and resilience shines and, ultimately, why we chose a career in this profession. I cannot think of a more fulfilling job and I am extremely proud to work in Emergency Services."

Chantel Nast

Emergency Medical Dispatch
Medavie Health Services West - Saskatoon

Ashley Hamerston
“I have been an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for 14 years and I remain passionate about this truly unique profession for a number of reasons. First and most importantly, are our callers and patients. We have heard and shared their tragedies, unimaginable loss and on rare occasions, joy.
“I think it is the purpose and ambition of most dispatchers, myself included, that we be at our absolute best when they are at their worst. We are an unseen link in the chain of survival ― cliché but true. Additionally, in this career, I have had partners that have become like family, mentors who have not only shaped me as a professional but have been there for some pretty major milestones in my life.
“Is every day in this profession perfect? Of course not. It has its downfalls and challenges like anything else, but it is this amazing, heartbreaking, challenging, rewarding, crazy profession that I am very proud of.”

Ashley Hamerston

Emergency Medical Dispatch
Medavie Health Services West - Saskatoon

Medavie Health Service is a national leader in primary health care solutions and the largest contracted provider of emergency management services in Canada. Our combined team of thousands of professionals is on the front lines of health care delivery in six provinces, managing emergency communications, ground and air ambulance and other health services for over 2.4 million Canadians.

We take this opportunity to honour and thank the telecommunicators on our teams, from Atlantic to western Canada, for answering the call to public safety. We appreciate your commitment to a demanding profession and the sacrifices you make to create healthier, safer communities for Canadians.

Hear From More Public Safety Telecommunicators


Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.