Anne Menzie

Staff Profile: Anne Menzie - Communications Officer

August 29, 2023

29 August, 2023



| By: Par:

Justyn Aleluia

Meet Anne Menzie, a Communications Officer-Medical Training Officer, and a member of the Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre (PTAC) development and training team based out of Ornge’s head office in Mississauga, Ontario. We spoke to Anne about her role at Ornge and her path to professional success.
We explore the role of a Communications Officer-Medical (CO-Medical) at Ornge, Ontario's air ambulance service. Join us as we gain insights from a CO-Medical professional who shares their experiences, from handling emergency calls to collaborating on innovative applications and training programs. Discover the diverse academic background that led them to this field, and learn about the rewarding aspects of their work, where they make a difference in patients' lives.
Justyn: When did you start working at Ornge? 
Anne: I started working for Ornge in 2008.
What is your current position? 
I am a CO-Medical Training Officer currently on a short-term contract working on enhancing the CO-Medical Training experience – both from an entry or onboarding as well continuing medical education (CME) perspective.  I am also working with an amazing team in the development and testing of the PTAC application.
What does a typical workday look like for you? 
This is hard to answer. My role as a CO-Medical always comes first. Therefore, if there are operational requirements to be supporting the Operations Control Centre (OCC) I am there, answering inbound calls for service to transport patients in the province of Ontario providing the best care, wherever they may be. 
When I am not in the OCC, I am working with the PTAC development team and Management group in various roles that include user acceptance testing, educational development and updates for new hires and our existing CO-Medical group.  It is always an adventure what the day will hold but it is always rewarding.
Can you describe your professional and/or academic background and how you got into this field of work? 
Since I was very young, I wanted to be a paramedic. My parents were not sure about my career choice, so we made a deal.  I would complete an undergraduate degree in whatever I wanted and then if I still wanted to be a paramedic, they would support the decision.  I had spent my younger years working in the aquatics environment. I loved the fun of lifeguarding, including the competitions of aquatic emergency care, but I was also fascinated by body movement on land versus water.  That led to an undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph in the field of Human Kinetics with a minor in learning theories through the school of applied science/psychology.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I went to Niagara College in Welland, Ontario to obtain a diploma as an Emergency Medical Care Attendant (this certification is almost as old as a dinosaur). After completing the diploma program, I began working part time with Hamilton Superior Ambulance.  I stayed connected to the aquatic world, worked with the Canadian Red Cross and Royal Life Saving Societies to develop water safety and learn to swim programs, and became a Master Trainer (Red Cross). With the Royal Life Saving Society, I sat on several committees and served as a Provincial Examiner and Trainer.
It was during this two-year period that I decided I should return to post-graduate studies as I continued to work part time for Hamilton Superior Ambulance as a paramedic. I had also started a part time position with the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) in Kitchener (known at that time as the Waterloo-Wellington CACC).  I took another three years to complete my master’s degree in human kinetics/Human Biology.  The first full time employment opportunity came from the CACC where I stayed for approximately six years.  I had developed a passion for instructional design, training, and coaching people to achieve desired skills in swimming, lifesaving, and emergency communications. 
In 1990, the stars aligned. The Ministry of Health’s Emergency Services department posted a position for a Provincial Training Officer to design, develop, lead and exam new and seasoned Ambulance Communications Officers through a transition, taking a provincial paper-based dispatch system into the computerized realm.  I was delighted to be offered the position; it was an incredible experience.  I am not sure that I would have been prepared for such a position if I had not taken the eclectic winding journey through my education and work experience.
What advice would you give to your younger self or a professional looking to work in your position one day? 
Do something that you love, work hard, and do not give up. 
What do you think is the most important thing you have learned while working at Ornge? 
One of the most important things I have learned while working at Ornge is to work respectfully as a team. Relying on the strengths of the entire team and be accountable for my actions.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? 
The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that what I do as part of the team makes a difference.  It is very rewarding to be able to help people/patients when they are in perhaps the worst situation of their lives. It is a good feeling to know we did everything feasible to ensure that they received the best care possible and promoting recovery and best outcomes.

At Ornge, our staff work every day around the clock to ensure the patients of Ontario receive the best care available. Learn more about the people behind #teamornge.


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