Own Jason Trask was named the 2019 Paramedic of the Year with the Paramedic Association of Canada, a national advocacy group.
“Oh, I thought it was a pretty cool honour,” Trask smiled during a recent chat at the STARS hangar. “It was pretty surprising but pretty nice at the same time.”
Trask is the Emergency Department manager at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and has been flying with STARS since we landed in Saskatchewan in 2012.
He’s also past president of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics and was the province’s first licensed critical care paramedic.
“Passion kind of drives me,” he said. “Being a paramedic now for 22 years, it’s something that I love and always have right out of high school.”
He relishes his dual role as a hospital department manager and as a STARS flight paramedic.
“I get to use the skills and knowledge base I’ve gotten as a paramedic to enhance both my roles, and being able to still fly here at STARS is awesome.”
Dr. John Froh, a medical director at STARS, has known Trask since the year 2000.
“Jason is an individual who possesses a fairly unique combination of skills,” said Froh. “He’s technically very proficient… But he’s also a very good communicator. Sometimes we see people that have one skill set but not the other, but Jason brings those two skill sets together in a way that is very synergistic, and he puts patients at ease while functioning at a very high level.”
Cindy Seidl, the Provincial Director of Saskatchewan Operations for STARS, couldn’t be more proud.
“He is a wonderful guy,” she beamed. “He’s an amazing practitioner, and we are so incredibly lucky to have him as part of our team.
“Jason has created amazing opportunities for himself and for the patients in our province by working for both STARS and Saskatchewan Health Authority. He’s able to see firsthand what our patients experience out in the field, work with rural providers and practitioners, and we have a great opportunity to collaborate with the emergency department because of the role that Jason holds.”
She’s glad Trask was chosen for the Paramedic of the Year honour.
“Jason has worked so hard, and he deserves this more than anyone that I know.”
Trask will formally receive the award on Sept. 20 at the Paramedicine Across Canada Expo in Winnipeg.