Fanshawe hosts London-Middlesex first responders celebration

Crowd at Survivors Day at Fanshawe College. CREDIT: KONSTANTINOS DROSSOS
The celebration kicked off with a ceremony, where many members of the London Police Services, London Fire Department, and Middlesex-London Paramedic Service gathered for speeches from the heads of all first responding services.

On May 16, Fanshawe’s Student Centre building served as a place of celebration for Survivors Day. The importance of this celebration aims at reuniting first responders with Londoners they’ve helped in the past.

The celebration kicked off with a ceremony, where many members of the London Police Services, London Fire Department, and Middlesex-London Paramedic Service gathered for speeches from the heads of all first responding services.

Cardiac arrest survivors were then brought up on stage, and reunited with those who helped them. They expressed their thanks, talked with one another and shook hands.

The Fanshawe College Student Success and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is smiling, sitting at a desk. Text states: A new semester is here. Access student services! We are here for you.

Kathy Burkhart-Jessen, the Warden of Middlesex County outlined what was being celebrated at the event and what its meaning was to those who attended. 

“It’s a day when we bring back patients who have suffered cardiac arrest…Everybody involved in that call, whether it’s paramedics, police, firefighters, even in some cases, as the stories will unfold, they’ll be citizen bystanders. Everybody comes together and acknowledges the call and the celebration of being able to have survived that event,” Burkhart-Jessen said.

Miranda Bothwell, the public education coordinator with Middlesex-London Paramedic Service, talked about this day gives first responders a chance to see the well-being of the people they helped.

“Not very often do first responders get to see how their past patients are doing, especially in a cardiac arrest, which is the most significant call that we can ever respond to,” said Bothwell.

Bothwell also mentioned the strong connection the organization has with the college and the support Fanshawe has given over the years.

“We are big supporters of supporting our community’s allied agencies. We’ve run past events here. They’ve just been wonderful to work with,” Bothwell said. 

She added that the event also has a big impact on future generations of paramedics, while also bringing a sense of closure to all those involved.

“This is actually an event that students hear about and know that there’s going to be an opportunity down the line to have a potential to reconnect with people. It really helps close that trauma loop for first responders, for the responders, for the citizens and the families involved. They’re going to realize that what they do has a humongous impact on our entire community every single day,” Bothwell said.