THUNDER BAY – Superior North EMS is very pleased to announce that Superintendent Chester Andraka of the Superior North EMS has been awarded the Governor General’s EMS Exemplary Service Medal in recognition of career accomplishments. The Governor General of Canada has approved Chester in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Paramedicine and his Community. The medal was presented by one of Canada’s most decorated citizens, Honorary Lieutenant General Richard Rohmer at a ceremony in Ottawa at the conclusion of the 2017 Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC) Annual General Meeting.
In May 1986, Chester became an ambulance attendant in Thunder Bay, after graduating from Cambrian College’s Paramedic program. In 1989, he began working as a Registered Nurse, also in Thunder Bay, after graduating from Confederation College’s Nursing Program. In 1996, Chester became an Advanced Care Paramedic after graduating from the Mitchener Institute. In 2003, Chester took on the role of Platoon Superintendent in Thunder Bay, and has retained his ACP certification. In September, 2007, Chester became the Acting Manager of Superior North EMS’ City of Thunder Bay Operations. In each position, Chester has performed his duties with energy and vitality while displaying a strong sense of purpose and personal commitment.
In 2004, two City of Thunder Bay acute care hospitals closed and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was opened. In 48 hours, Superior North EMS was assigned the task to move 150 patients from the closing facilities to the new facility. This was to be done concurrently and within the normal exigencies faced by EMS. Chester was assigned to coordinate the move, and the result was impressive. There was not one adverse incident during that move. The planning for the move was conducted for more than one year previous, with Chester representing EMS and dealing with all important issues. In the process, he showed that he could effectively establish priorities, plan to prevent problems, and anticipate and resolve conflicts.