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JIBC-led project to look into resulting challenges and innovations

The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) has received a $75,000-grant to research the challenges and innovations resulting from Canadian paramedics’ response to COVID-19.

The funding is from the federal government’s Tri-agency Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 grant initiative, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The grant is one of 41 awarded as part of a minimum of $3 million the Tri-agency is providing to colleges and polytechnics through the College and Community Innovation program. Grants of up to $75,000 for one-year projects are being awarded on an expedited basis to rapidly mobilize support, applied research and expertise related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The JIBC project is titled “Canadian Paramedicine Response to COVID-19: Challenges and Innovations,” and is being led by principal investigator Dr. Ron Bowles, Interim Dean of JIBC’s Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies.

Partners in the project include Jennie Helmer of BC Emergency Health Services; Dr. Ian Blanchard of Emergency Medical Services, Alberta Health Services; Dr. Walter Tavares of the University of Toronto, York Region Paramedic Services, McNally Project; Dr. Luc de Montigny of Urgences-santé; and Dr. Judah Goldstein of Emergency Health Services in Nova Scotia.

The research project will collect, organize, analyze and rapidly share with stakeholders emerging findings from Canadian paramedicine's successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through interviews and surveys with key personnel in Canadian emergency medical services, the researchers will gather data related to the challenges, innovations, barriers, and solutions for adapting paramedicine practice to the specific threats of COVID-19.

Researchers will share their findings including key resources such as modified protocols, standards, and policies. The analysis of the data will focus on developing lessons-learned, identifying ongoing challenges and disseminating evolving strategies and practices.

“This project will highlight the increasingly important role that paramedics are playing in providing access to acute and ongoing health care in Canada,” said Bowles. “The study will gather and share examples of how paramedic services across the country were able to pivot and address COVID-19 challenges such as providing safe, high quality care, use of personal protective equipment, and managing COVID-related calls. This research will help paramedic services learn from their colleagues and to better prepare for the next phases of the pandemic response.”


Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator with a mission to develop dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research. JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; exceptional continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Our education provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at every stage of their career contributing to safer communities and a more just society.