Welcome to the webspace of the Edmonton Paramedic
Guard of Honour
Grand Prize Winner - Canadian Union of Public Employees Alberta 2006
Photo by: Jason Joelson, EMT-P, CUPE Local 3197
The Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour is the formal ceremonial unit of the City of Edmonton Emergency Medical Services (EMS). It is comprised of Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians that are employees of Edmonton EMS and members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3197 - Edmonton Emergency Health Services Personnel. Guard of Honour members volunteer to represent their colleagues at ceremonial and memorial events. The prime area of responsibility for all guard of honour members is to function as positive ambassadors for the City of Edmonton, Edmonton EMS, the EMS profession in general, and our Union - CUPE Local 3197 with over 300 members.
The Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour was established in 1998. The original twenty members underwent a rigorous training program delivered by the Canadian Forces Edmonton Garrison Regiment Sergeant Major. Since that time we have endeavoured to pass this experience on when we intake new members. The Commonwealth squad drill system is used by the Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour to show the professionalism, teamwork, and dedication of the service that we represent. This enables us to participate seamlessly with other guards of honour from allied emergency services. Regular practices enable us to remain sharp in our presentation and ready to perform at important occasions in front of large crowds and cameras.
We are proud to have formed relationships with other guards of honour units from allied emergency services. Practicing together allows us to learn from each other and network. In addition to squad drill on the march and at the halt we also train in, flag party drill, sword drill, and EMS honours funeral drill (shoulder-carry casket drill). Our unit is also fortunate to have our own bagpipers to add another dimension to our repertoire.
The Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour is active in expressing condolences to those uniformed services that experience a line of duty death. Whenever possible the Guard of Honour sends at least two members to memorial services in Canada to pay our respects on behalf of Edmonton EMS and the paramedic profession as an allied emergency service. Letters of condolence are sent internationally to effected services, companies, unions, and associations since often it is not possible to be present in person.
"It is the mission of the Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour to elevate the image and public awareness of the Emergency Medical Services and heighten staff and civic pride in the professionalism of the service."
"It is the vision of the Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour to elevate the status of Edmonton Emergency Medical Services and the EMS community at large by the provision of a strong public image in ceremonial events. This will be accomplished by presenting a professional, recognizable uniform presence accompanied by proficient, unified drill performances with an approachable demeanor following the event."
The uniform of the Edmonton Paramedic Guard of Honour is custom made. The tunic is a "midnight blue" patrol dress high/closed collar style with gold EMS Star of Life buttons for the front, breast pocket, and epaulettes. Gold "EMS" and "EDMONTON" shoulder boards ornament the epaulettes. The white dress belt is finished with a gold Edmonton EMS belt badge. The trousers are "steel blue" colour with black dress stripe. The dress forge cap is the Canadian Forces Navy style white with black peak and adorned by a gold Edmonton EMS cap badge. Black parade boots and white dress gloves round off the accoutrements. The dress uniform of the guard differs in appearance from that issued to the general members of Edmonton EMS. The development of the two uniforms occurred quite separately however do compliment each other when displayed during functions. This allows for an increased level of pageantry that is normally associated with a guard of honour and the ceremonial functions that they perform.