Caralea Taylor (L) has worked for 20 years as a paramedic in Revelstoke. For Kellie Christy (R), its been 30 years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

Caralea Taylor (L) has worked for 20 years as a paramedic in Revelstoke. For Kellie Christy (R), its been 30 years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

‘It’s an honour’: Revelstoke paramedics celebrate decades long service

Combined Kellie Christy and Caralea Taylor have worked in the ambulance service for 50 years

The year 1991 was big. The Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced, the Soviet Union ceased to exist and Airbags were invented. It was also the year Kellie Christy became a paramedic in Revelstoke.

This month, she is celebrating 30 years on the job.

“When you can go on a call, you know you can make a difference,” said Christy.

“I’ve given back to the community that opened its arms to me.”

Since the ski hill opened, ambulance calls have increased to 750 in 2019 from 521 in 2007.

Over the years, Christy has watched people in the community age. When she gets called into someone’s home, it’s usual for her to know them. She’ll recognize a photo and be familiar with the family’s history.

“People are not just a number on a screen,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Thought my windows would break’: Revelstoke RCMP respond to explosions at gun range

Some events that stand out include the tour bus that collided head-on with a transport truck in a snowshed over Rogers Pass in 2000. The crash killed six people.

Christy was one of the first on-scene and one of the last to leave. There were no lights in the tunnel at the time, which probably contributed to the crash, but the darkness also helped blanket the trauma.

“That accident made me realise that sometimes I need to ask for help. I am not a rock,” she said.

“Death doesn’t bother me anymore. But how people die and the families left behind — that can be hard.”

Another story that’s memorable was responding to a possible leg amputation at a logging accident by the Goldstream River, north of Revelstoke.

Christy and a doctor went to the scene via helicopter. It was windy and Christy kept throwing up in latex gloves during the flight. While the logger was still lucid, he’s legs were twisted behind his back from a fallen tree. Christy sent the man’s kid to look for large cedar bark strips to help wrap and stabilize the legs for transport. There was no time for paper and pens, so Christy wrote notes on her arm.

The man was flown to hospital in Kamloops, where the admissions doctor told Christy, “now, that’s first aid.”

The logger later danced at his kid’s wedding.

Since Mayor Gary Sulz is also our community’s funeral director, he has witnessed Christy in action over the years.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with you in tragic circumstances and you’ve always come through,” he said in a video dedicated to Christy.

“On behalf of Revelstoke, thank you.”

In the same video, station manager Kirk Pitaoulis said, “I learned early on that you are the true leader of our station, but you are humble enough and kind enough to support me.”

It’s clear Christy has made a significant impact on her fellow paramedics, like Kaleigh Beattie.

“You have been the single most influential person in my career,” she said in the video. She’s been a paramedic in Revelstoke for 10 years.

“You helped me challenge through the battles of life to be a stronger person.”

READ MORE: ‘This is failure’: Construction noise frustrates neighbours on Victoria Rd. E

Caralea Taylor is another local paramedic celebrating many years of service in Revelstoke.

Taylor took the job in 2001 because she wanted to help. She said her favourite part of the job is getting to know people in the community, listening to their stories and holding their hand through difficult moments.

“Patients always remember how you made them feel. Not the meds you gave or the IV you put in,” she said.

“It’s an honour and privilege to help people through their worst moments.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health and wellness

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Jack Sutter’s show Shapes in Metal is currently on display in one of the side 
galleries at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. (Contributed)
Art for everyone: Variety of artists currently at Revelstoke gallery show

See water colours, photographs and metal sculptures until June 25

The CP station at Glacier was built in 1916. It is located at the western end of the Connaught Tunnel in Glacier National Park. This photo was taken in mid-June, 2021. (Contributed)
LETTER: Historic but not preserved

Submit letters to the editor to jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Tania McCabe is the city’s director of finance. (File photo)
What’s going on with my property taxes? Q&A with Tania McCabe

Deadline to pay property taxes in Revelstoke is July 2 this year

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Most Read