Canadian paramedic health and wellness project – Workforce profile and health and wellness trends


  1. Fischer, S.L.
  2. MacPhee, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ON (CAN);Waterloo Univ, Waterloo ONT (CAN) Dept of Kinesiology
Introduction: We know very little about paramedics in Canada, or about how their service to Canadian’s might affect their health and wellness. The primary objective of this project was to gather baseline information to describe the workforce trends, sociodemographics, and current health and wellness of paramedics in Canada. Methods: Data were collected using a multi-phased approach. Phase 1 involved administering a comprehensive survey to approximately 38,000 paramedics across the country. Phase 2 involved conducting in-depth focus group and personal interviews to further examine the topic of mental wellness. Phase 3 involved conducting physical fitness appraisals to further probe the topic of physical wellness. Results: In Phase 1, 2,557 completed surveys were returned (2,488 web and 69 paper). Nearly 4 in 5 paramedics work 12-hour shifts, where 3 in 5 paramedic do so by rotating between day, night and evening shifts, and where nearly 4 in 5 also work required overtime. Survey and focus group findings identify indications of decline mental wellbeing, where Operational Factors; Organizational Climate Factors; and, Barriers to Good Mental Health were identified as pressing challenges. Survey and physical fitness appraisal results identify indications of injury, fatigue and burnout, but suggest that musculoskeletal health and fitness are in-line with normative data. Conclusion: Regardless of the geographical location of the paramedics, results reveal that paramedic’s work s
Paramedic service portfolio;Paramedic profession;First Responder Health and Wellness Profile;Human Resources Profile
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-C295 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2017
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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