[Susan Hanna]

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The new Chief of the Lanark County Ambulance Service (LCAS) plans to elevate the organization’s service level and visibility in the community.

“We are currently working to qualify our paramedics to start IVs (intravenous fluids) in the ambulance, instead of waiting until the patient gets to the Hospital,” says Ed McPherson, who assumed the role of LCAS Chief on May 27, 2013, following the retirement of James McIsaac.

“We also hope to introduce a full Acute STEMI program, which will allow the paramedics to transfer this type of major heart attack patient directly to either Ottawa or Kingston where they will receive advanced cardiac care.”

Changing the look of the LCAS ambulances and uniforms is also part of the new Chief’s plans.

“This will lead to a higher visibility of our professional paramedic service,” Mr. McPherson explained.

“We also want to be more involved in the community and in identifying people at risk, so we can work with other agencies to assist them.”

Born and raised in Perth, Mr. McPherson was studying psychology at Queen’s University when he took a summer job with the Perth Ambulance service.

“I loved it right away,” he said. “I left Queen’s and enrolled in the Algonquin College ambulance program.”

After graduating from Algonquin in 1981, Mr. McPherson took a part-time job with the Perth ambulance service, and also became one of 60 paramedics hand-picked by the then-Ontario Ministry of Health to train paramedics across the province. He has been involved in a variety of provincial and regional training and certification programs ever since.

While still working part-time in Perth, he also took on a full-time job with the Ottawa ambulance service, and, for one four-year period, worked full-time for both services.

He became Perth Base Supervisor in the late 1990s, Perth Base Manager after the LCAS was formed in 2000, and Deputy Chief in 2003.

Almonte General Hospital (AGH) operates the LCAS, in partnership with Lanark County. LCAS’s 85 paramedics serve Almonte, Perth, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls and Lanark.

“LCAS is one of three hospital-based services in Ontario,” said Mr. McPherson.

“We benefit from the power of the County behind us and all the expertise at AGH.”

In addition to his role at LCAS, Mr. McPherson has been a member of Perth Town Council for 20 years. He currently chairs Council’s Finance Committee. He and his wife have three children.

“I love my job; every single day is different,” he says.

“Even after 32 years, I enjoy it as much today as the day I started.