St. Clair College Presents Inaugural Community Partnership Award

Tuesday June 29th, 2021

Posted at 8:45pm

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St. Clair College presented its first inaugural Community Partnership Award to Bruce Krauter, Chief of the Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Service, for his outstanding contribution to the school and its students during a difficult year.

The College says that his indispensable actions during the 2020-21 academic year that made him an ideal recipient for the first-ever Community Partnership Award.

Among the significant challenges faced by St. Clair students during the COVID-19 pandemic were those confronting the senior/graduating-year students of the Paramedic program.

Because of provincial and regional health directives, the students were not permitted to participate in the work-placement component of their education: riding along with professional ambulance squads. In the midst of the pandemic, the College set out to replicate the ride-out experience.

Utilizing Krauter’s expertise, St. Clair developed a completely new, in-house practicum for senior-year Paramedic students. Utilizing its own ambulance vehicles and creating its own radio system, the new hands-on program saw students dispatched throughout the school’s campuses to respond to illness and accident scenarios, using fellow students and other volunteers as patients in need of assistance.

“The fact that the College could replicate this system in as detailed a fashion as it did, that the school had it up-and-running as quickly as it did, and that the essential preceptor involvement was retained, were all very much due to Chief Krauter’s participation and support in this innovative undertaking,” said College President Patti France.

Just weeks before the end of the Winter semester, the provincial government expressed concern the alternative system may not be adequate, and prospective Paramedic graduates would potentially have to acquire additional hours of work-based experience with real patients.

Krauter took a lead role in advocating the case in letters and meetings with the Ministries of Health and Universities and Colleges, emphasizing that the provincial government’s position would create a delay in the entry of new paramedics into Ontario’s healthcare system during a time when the need was highest.

Ultimately, the College was successful in ensuring the Paramedic students graduated in June 2021.

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