Province honours Cambrian paramedic graduate for bravery (updated)

Province honours Cambrian paramedic graduate for bravery (updated)

Mike Hickey receives award, as did primary care paramedic Sarah Stagg of Manitoulin Island

Author of the article:
Star Staff

Published May 31, 2024

As a paramedic, Matt Hickey wants you to know he and his colleagues are more than a quick ride to the hospital.

Hickey, who grew up in Sudbury, is now with Muskoka Paramedic Services in southern Ontario.This week, the Ontario government honoured Hickey and 10 other paramedics for bravery.

“I definitely want to give a shoutout to all my colleagues in Muskoka,” he told The Star. “It’s too bad we can’t give bravery or other awards to every paramedic because they all do an outstanding job out there and I think most, if not all, would do the same as me and my partner did if they were in our shoes.”

“A lot of people think we’re just fast transportation to the hospital, but we do have a good range of skills and we have the autonomy to give a good number of medications. We basically bring the emergency room to the person.

“While the job is super rewarding and we’re well-supported by our service, there are considerable challenges with paramedics and we’re still not considered an essential service in Ontario and there’s a constant need for better funding and resources so we can really provide the best care.

“I’d just like to put a spotlight on that and highlight all the paramedics in Ontario for the great job they do.”

On Oct. 25, 2019, Hickey and his partner, along with Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers, responded to a house fire in the Muskoka area.

“At the scene, they found a house surrounded by thick smoke with a woman holding two children at the second-story window,” said the citation outlining Hickey’s actions. “Despite the threat posed to them by the heavy smoke, Paramedic Hickey, his partner and an OPP officer made their way into the house to rescue the family.

“Paramedic Hickey assisted in getting the family to the roof of the home, where the children were handed down to an OPP officer, while their mother was led to the ground by ladder, with the assistance of the fire department.

“Paramedic Hickey assessed the family as they were transported to the hospital, and they avoided serious injuries.”

Hickey said he was honoured to receive the award. “The (awards) night was amazing and it was great to connect with other paramedics from around the province who were awarded the same medal.

“It shows that it’s not just about me – it represents the dedication and bravery of all the paramedics I know, paramedics who face these challenging situations every day. It’s just a testament to our commitment to providing the best possible care out there in Ontario.”

Hickey, 36, was born and raised in Sudbury and most of his family is here. He has lived in Muskoka for about six years

His mother is the late Debbie Shipley, a former Sudbury Star reporter, and his dad is Mike Hickey, who still lives in Sudbury and who still lives in Sudbury and works at Leon's Furniture.