Off-duty paramedic honoured after rescuing injured police officer during snowstorm

Paramedic Geoff D’Eon receiving the Ontario Medal for Paramedic Bravery from The Hon. Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Supplied by Simcoe County

What started as a quick run to the grocery store turned into a heroic moment for one Simcoe County paramedic when he was off duty earlier this year.

Geoff D’Eon says he was on his way to the grocery store on Jan. 13, hoping to get some much-needed food provisions during a snowstorm.

He says and his wife waited for a break in the weather before heading out but says it quickly changed.

“While we were out on our way home, we came across an accident on Horseshoe Valley Road, right on the downslope of the hill by right by Country Lane. I noticed that there was a pickup truck with a trailer jackknifed across the road,” D’Eon recalls.

The paramedic of 14-years started to approach the accident to offer help and saw a police car with its lights on, but the officer was nowhere in sight.

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“Once I got around the vehicles that were stopped, I saw the OPP officer lying in the middle of the road. So when I approached him, I identified myself as a paramedic, and he looked up at me and said, buddy, I have hurt myself really bad,” D’Eon recalls.

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He says the officer told him he had slipped on the ice while responding to the accident.

But D’Eon did not have much time to assess the situation before he noticed another car sliding down the hill, hitting cars as it went.

“In the process of assessing him, I started to hear some crunching and cracking sounds. Looked up, saw that there was another vehicle that was sliding out of control down the hill,” he recalls.

“I looked down at the officer and said, you know, this is really going to hurt, but we need to get you out of the way.”

With the help of another bystander, D’Eon grabbed the officer by the shoulder and pulled him to the side of the road out of the way of the incoming vehicle.

“I wasn’t thinking of myself at all. I was more concerned for the officer because I knew that he was incapacitated at the time, and he wasn’t able to move on his own,” he recalls.

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Following the save, D’Eon was presented with an Ontario Medal for Paramedic Bravery by the Hon. Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, during a ceremony earlier this week at the Royal Ontario Museum.

“The medal is given to paramedics who have demonstrated great bravery without concern for their personal safety, risking their lives to save others. Nominations must be made through the nominee’s paramedic service and endorsed by their paramedic chief,” a release from the Government of Ontario reads.

While D’Eon says he is honoured to be recognized, he has faith that if he had not been there, another Good Samaritan would have stepped up.

“I’m trying to remain pretty humble about the whole situation. I would like to think that even if I hadn’t been there, somebody else would have done exactly the same thing,” D’Eon says. “To my friends and colleagues, I really hope that this is an opportunity for para-medicine as a whole and paramedics in general to be finally recognized for the work that we do, do on a regular basis.”

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