News release

Twenty-one Paramedics Recognized for Exemplary Service

Twenty-one Nova Scotia paramedics have been awarded the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal for their dedication to the health and safety of all Nova Scotians.

These paramedics have dedicated their careers to providing high-quality care to Nova Scotians in their time of greatest need, sometimes at their own personal risk.

Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc, who presented the medals, noted the dedication they exemplify daily.

“It is my great pleasure to invest these members of the Emergency Medical Services with the Exemplary Service Medal,” said Lt.-Gov. LeBlanc. “Their dedication and commitment to the people they serve – quite often in the most distressing of circumstances – is most deserving of this recognition, which I am honoured to present to them on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.”

The paramedics who received the medals are:

  • Francine Butts, Chaswood, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Colleen Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Kevin Carey, Hammonds Plains
  • Charles Charmichael, Georges River, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
  • Joseph Gallant, New Germany, Lunenburg Co.
  • Ryan Grist, Dayspring, Lunenburg Co.
  • Rhonda Helpard, Steep Creek, Guysborough Co.
  • Angela Hickox, Truro
  • Greg MacKinnon, Kentville
  • Angie Matheson, Port Hastings, Inverness Co.
  • John Mosher, Kentville
  • Christopher Nordland, Dartmouth
  • Donna Reid, Hammonds Plains
  • Peter Rose, Dartmouth
  • John Rossiter (posthumous)
  • Shane Strong, Saint-Anne-Du-Ruisseau, Yarmouth Co.
  • Sean Teed, Glen Haven, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Matthew Vaughan, Westville, Pictou Co.
  • Mark Walker, Hammonds Plains
  • Jim Wells, Brookside, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Kelsey Wells, Brookside, Halifax Regional Municipality

From a young age, recipient Francine Butts was interested in finding a path to help support the needs of people in her community. She found that path in paramedicine.

“Throughout my 23-year career, I have met some of the strongest and bravest people – our patients and their families. As a paramedic, you can share in life's most precious and unfair moments all in the same day with people you just met,” she said. “It certainly takes a special person to be able to do this line of work. Thanks to the trailblazing men and women that have and continue to wear the uniform, lead this profession, and be pioneers in clinical care, patient safety and advocacy.”

Queen Elizabeth II created the Exemplary Service Medal in 1994. It is part of a national recognition program for people who work in high-risk jobs that enhance Canada's public safety.

Police, firefighters, corrections officers, coast guard members and peace officers are also eligible for exemplary service medals, which are part of the Canadian honours system.

Emergency Medical Services professionals can be nominated by their peers or the public. Recipients must have demonstrated exemplary service in their careers for at least 20 years, including 10 years in an emergency medical services position that involves potential risk.

For more information on the awards, visit