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Huron County paramedic wins prestigious award for the third time

Huron County paramedic Zia Khogyani received the 2020 Medical Directors Commendation Award. (Contributed Photo)

HURON COUNTY – Local paramedic Zia Khogyani was honoured at the 2020 Paramedic Recognition Awards with the Medical Director’s Commendation Award.

This honour marks the third time Khogyani has received this prestigious award, the Huron County Paramedic Services Facebook page said.

This acknowledgement is awarded to paramedics who have been recognized for delivering exceptional care to patients in a prehospital setting.  It is based on recommendations by the Local Medical Director or the receiving hospital Emergency Physician according to the Southwest Ontario Regional Base Hospital Program (SWORBHP).

“Zia Khogyani was nominated for his overall leadership and participation in education or administration activities over and above regular clinical responsibilities and for advancing the practice of paramedicine by advocating on behalf of paramedics in multiple agency strategic planning for the future,” Julie Oliveira, planning & support specialist at SWORBHP told Wingham Advance Times in an email.

“This award would normally be presented in person, however with the current pandemic, this was not possible,” Oliveira added “therefore, the SWORBHP presented Zia with a congratulatory video with comments and congratulations from Dr. Matthew Davis (Regional Medical Director), Dr. Sean Doran (Local Medical Director) and Jeff Horseman (Chief, Huron County Paramedic Services).”

Doran said in that video, “Zia was nominated by a fellow paramedic. His coworkers describe him as a patient and excellent peer educator, who treats each patient with empathy, kindness and consistently goes beyond the call of duty.”

A Huron County press release provided a short biography about Khogyani, saying that his interest in paramedicine began when he rode along with a volunteer firefighter and witnessed paramedics resuscitate somebody.  “Since that call, more than 20 years ago, Zia knew that he wanted to make paramedicine his life’s work.”

“On behalf of Huron County paramedic services, I congratulate Zia Khogyani on receiving this much deserved award,” Chief of Huron County Emergency Services, Jeff Horseman, said. “Zia has always been willing to enhance his skills, teach others, and give back to our community. Time and time again, Zia has gone above the call of duty and provided exceptional service to patients in urgent need. I am proud to have Zia on our paramedic team.”

The press release said, “Zia has built a remarkable career that includes service in paramedicine, firefighting, flight paramedicine, correctional services, and paramedic education.

“He has worked as a paramedic locally as well as throughout Ontario, the United States, and in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

“In Nunavut, Zia worked with the Baffin Regional Medevac on the Advanced Care Fixed-Wing Ambulance Service team, providing paramedicine to underserved and remote areas. In this role, Zia twice endured unscheduled, hastened and, unpowered landings and was even once stalked by a polar bear.”

Khogyani speaks several languages, according to the press release.  English is his third language. “Zia brings extremely valuable language skills to his role in paramedicine.”

“Zia is currently on the board of advisors for the Primary and Advanced Paramedic Programs at Fanshaw college and continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter for the Ripley-Huron Fire Department. Zia lives with his wife and young son, and together they enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and snowshoeing in their spare time.”

“Zia’s dedication to delivering exceptional patient care has resulted in such well-deserved recognition,” said Warden Glen McNeil, “His drive and ambition will be an inspiration to others. Thank you for being such an inspiring leader in the field of paramedicine.”

Cory Bilyea is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with the Wingham Advance Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.