HALIFAX, NS – Chris Renaud has received a medal honouring his emergency work as a paramedic in Halifax.
Renaud’s roots are in Digby, where his career started at 17 with a job at the local ambulance service owned by his father, Michael Renaud.
Now, 22 years later, he’s received the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Services medal from the province for his work, and credits his success to learning the ropes in his hometown.
“It’s a huge honour, especially knowing the nomination comes from a peer or member of the public,” he says.
Starting the job in Digby
After getting his start, Renaud continued to work for another five years with his dad, until the business was sold when he was 22.
Renaud then moved to Halifax to pursue his career, eventually becoming a Critical Care paramedic with the EHS LifeFlight Program.
He’s been there for 11 years, and feels it’s a privilege to travel the province saving lives.
“Flying across the province to help the sickest people is really an honour. I’m committed to this, to my job,” he said.
He still considers Digby his home, and feels nostalgic when people ask after him, wondering about how he’d doing and how the job is going.
“I still feel so close to Digby – that’s where it all began for me,” he said.
Staying grounded at a tough job
Service jobs are hard, and can take serious tolls on both mental and physical health.
Renaud stays grounded through regular exercise, playing sports and keeping up with his mini athlete, his son.
Lieutenant Governor Arthur J. LeBlanc, when giving his speech, said the people in service jobs aren’t ordinary citizens.
This struck a chord with Renaud, who feels being a paramedic is a job bigger than himself.
And as for who nominated him, Renaud doesn’t want to know – the sense of mystery is a welcome one.
“It’s a nice motivator to get recognition that you’re part of something that’s bigger than yourself when your job is as serious as ours is,” he said.