Opening Keynote Presentation

What is a Paramedic? How do we relate to one of the most utilitarian tools ever invented?

Presented by: J.D. Heffern

Paramedicine has evolved immensely over a relatively short period of time. Whether it is identity, skill set, or scope of practice we always seem to adapt and overcome based on what our community needs. But what are we and how do we explain to others what we do and the skills we bring to the table? We will look into the development and evolution of the Swiss Army Knife and how that parallels the identity development of Paramedics across all contexts and meets the needs of the populations we serve.

About J.D:

J.D. is a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, leader, chronic networker, researcher, and student whom happens to be a Paramedic. Living in Canada he serves as Chief Paramedic for Indigenous Services Canada with the Government of Canada. As a second career Paramedic he has worked as a front-line Paramedic, Paramedic educator, Community Paramedic, and at various levels of Paramedic service leadership. Prior accepting his current position, J.D. was Commander with the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service facilitating a myriad of portfolios. He volunteers as council member for the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine and is a Fellow with McNally Project for Paramedicine Research (Canada). His passion and interests are Community Paramedicine, Paramedic practice focussing on vulnerable populations, international trends and best practices and networking with like-minded individual and organisations as demonstrated by his work in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany. Turkey, and the United States. J.D. has been married to Melanie for 24 years, with three young adult daughters and his son Stanley the 120-pound Alaskan Malamute pup.