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Alliston first responder shares her career path during National Paramedic Week

May 29, 2020   ·   0 Comments

It’s National Paramedic Week from May 24-30 and the occupation is being celebrated throughout Simcoe County.

Alliston based paramedic of eight years Laura Sperdutti told The Times working in the field has been an incredibly rewarding and gratifying experience.

She had an interesting career path, beginning at McMaster University where she studied kinesiology and served as a student therapist for the school’s hockey team. 

While waiting for a game to start, a family member of the opposing team didn’t look well and when Sperdutii went to ask him if he was okay he collapsed into cardiac arrest.

“Our coach at the time was a firefighter with Toronto, so him and I started CPR. There was a public health access defibrillator in the arena and when the Hamilton paramedics showed up, I saw them run a full advanced care, cardiac arrest call and I was fascinated,” she said.

“I was fortunate enough that I got a phone call from the gentlemen [we saved] two or three days later – he got my information from the police.”

The gentleman expressed his thanks to Sperdutti for saving his life and she said it was one of the most amazing feelings, to get that call and know she had a direct impact on keeping someone alive.

While there’s an appeal for some people to get into the healthcare industry because they want to save lives and have a positive impact on the world, Sperdutti said it’s important to note that the job requires a degree of mental toughness.

“You have to have a certain hardiness to you for this job some days, but ultimately it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and I don’t regret a single day,” she said.

While emergent calls may be more memorable, sometimes less emergent ones are more meaningful, Sperdutti noted.

“It’s funny because everyone thinks that every day we go out and we do these almost ‘Hollywood’ type calls that you see on TV and that you hear about in the news,” she said. “It’s usually the simple calls… having genuine conversations with people and getting to meet new people everyday is amazing – getting to have those interactions.”

While it feels good to be recognized during National Paramedic Week, Sperdutti said it’s important to shine a light on all the other critical occupations that are essential to society.

“I know that everyone has been overly respectful of healthcare workers and it’s been amazing but our cashiers and our truck drivers and the people who are operating gas stations – there’s a lot of people providing that kind of essential role and keeping the economy going,” she said.

“They’re just as important as we go through this and I just hope that everyone can maintain that level of respect and patience for everyone – lots of patience is needed through this I find,” Sperdutti continued.

“Just be patient. Be respectful. We’ll all get through this if we be there for each other and support each other.”

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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