Ottawa Paramedic Service recognizes life-saving actions at Community Champion Coin Awards

Published on
May 7, 2024
Health, public safety and emergencies
Home and community

Yesterday, Monday, May 6, the Ottawa Paramedic Service recognized the life-saving actions taken by seven members of the public at the first Community Champion Coin Awards.

Recipients of the 2023 – 2024 Community Champion Award along with Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, Councillor Riley Brockington and Chief Paramedic Pierre Poirier.

First aid provided by members of the community can make a significant difference in the outcome of a medical emergency. Members of the public can start the “chain of survival” by recognizing symptoms, like those of a cardiac arrest, and performing CPR and defibrillation. These early actions enable paramedics to quickly provide the necessary care when they arrive and complete the chain.

Through their selfless actions, these seven individuals each remained calm and provided first aid during a medical emergency that saved someone’s life:

  • Meaghan Ciotti, an off-duty nurse, came to the assistance of an expectant mother who was on her way to the hospital to deliver her baby. Meaghan delivered a healthy baby boy on the side of the road and cared for the mother until paramedics arrived.
  • Robert Davidson, a retired Paramedic Commander, saved the life of a passenger in a pulled-over vehicle who was in cardiac arrest. Because Robert immediately started performing CPR, the passenger had regained consciousness when paramedics arrived.
  • Dr. Colleen Forestier, a military physician, saved the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest while bicycling. Dr. Forestier’s quick initiation and continued performance of CPR meant that paramedics were able to successfully resuscitate the individual with a defibrillator.
  • Alexander Poirier, a Garda Security Guard at the Ottawa International Airport, saved the life of his colleague who was choking and losing consciousness. Alexander performed abdominal trusts, formerly known as the Heimlich maneuver, to clear his colleague’s airway which enabled them to regain consciousness as paramedics arrived.
  • Tim O’Neil, retired Paramedic Superintendent, and James Wicker and Danny Paul, Carlingwood Shopping Mall security guards, saved the life of an elderly man who went into cardiac arrest. Together, they secured the scene, performed CPR and used a defibrillator to stabilize the individual until paramedics arrived.

Meaghan, Robert, Dr. Forestier, Alexander, Tim, James and Danny each received a Community Champion challenge coin for their outstanding commitment to keeping their community safe. The actions taken by these Community Champions and others help members of the public suffering a serious medical emergency or injury have a higher chance of survival.

Ottawa Paramedic Service offers certification and recertification courses in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED). Visit to learn more about these courses and others available through Ottawa Paramedic Service’s Public Education training centre.


“Ottawa is incredibly fortunate to have individuals like the ones honoured today. We are immensely proud and grateful to them for their bravery and readiness to jump into action during emergencies like the ones faced by the people whose lives were at stake. Thank you for your selflessness. You are true Community Champions.”

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe

“These seven individuals were in the right place at the right time. Their willingness and readiness to drop everything and help someone, often a complete stranger, in medical distress shows how deeply connected our community is.”

Councillor Riley Brockington, Chair of the Emergency Preparedness and Protective Services Committee

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