Above and beyond the call

In May, Durham College (DC) alumnus Dominic Rehayem received the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery from the provincial government in honour of a heroic rescue he made in 2015.

A graduate of DC’s Advanced Care Paramedic program, Rehayem was working as an advanced care paramedic with the Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services when he rescued a man who had fallen into a river following an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident.

On April 11, 2015, Rehayem made a 20-minute ATV ride to find the man, who had been helped to a nearby island by a friend who then left to find help, because an ambulance could not reach the area.  After finding the man lying on the island, freezing, Rehayem sprang into action. He gave the man some of his own clothing before strapping him to Rehayem’s body and swimming back across the river. Once back to shore, Rehayem brought the man into a nearby cabin to raise his body temperature, lighting a fire and making some hot chocolate, before making the 20-minute ride back to the ambulance.

The Government of Ontario bestows the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery annually to recognize paramedics for individual acts of outstanding courage. Individuals are nominated by their home services and honourees are selected following a committee review of submissions.