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March 01, 2023

INSPIRE - Meet York Region Paramedic Services Andrea ZaniniHooey - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023


Public safety - It plays a critical part in ensuring residents of any community have the opportunity to live well and reach their personal full potential.  Public safety is about protecting the general public and prioritizing an individual's physical safety. First Responders - including firefighters, police officers and paramedics - are most often providing the hands-on support that makes any community physically safe. 


INSPIRE 2023 - The Highlight Reel


The individuals who protect and serve their communities are professionals dedicated to being their best with each situation they face. In honour of International Women's Day and together with the Ontario Provincial PoliceYork Regional PoliceCentral York Fire Services, and York Region Paramedic Services, we are excited to once again present four female emergency first responders who represent their professions with honour and distinction. We invite you to read each of their stories and learn more about how their aspirations, motivations, celebrations and strong ethic of caring for themselves and others have shaped their respective careers.



More Her First Responder Stories:

INSPIRE - Introducing CYFS Firefighter Catherine Bourrie - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

INSPIRE - Meet YRP Constable Dezy Jones - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

INSPIRE - Introducing OPP Constable Jodi-Ann Morrison - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023


Introducing Andrea ZaniniHooey - York Region Paramedic Services Primary Care Paramedic



Q: How long have you been a first responder?

A: I have been a paramedic since 1999 and have worked for York Region Paramedic Services since 2001.


Q: Did you grow up wanting to be a first responder?

A: As a child and tween, I used to watch a show called Rescue 911 which was a non-dramatized reality TV show about paramedics, fire, and police. I had always been fascinated with biology, anatomy, and the medical fields of practice. I had decided at an early age that paramedicine was something I wanted to do.


Q: Where did you go to school to learn to be a first responder?

A: After high school, I applied to Centennial College and was accepted.



Q: What has been the highlight of your career?

A: The biggest highlight of my career so far was receiving the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal.


What is the Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal | The Governor General of Canada (gg.ca)?


“The Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal, created on July 7, 1994, recognizes professionals in the provision of pre-hospital emergency medical services to the public, who have performed their duties in an exemplary manner, characterized by good conduct, industry and efficiency.

Recipients must have been employed with emergency medical services on or after October 31, 1991, and have completed 20 years of exemplary service, including at least 10 years in the performance of duties involving potential risk. Those with at least 10 years of service with emergency medical services may include, in the 20 years of service, service completed in another profession, provided this service has not been recognized by another long service, good conduct or efficiency decoration or medal awarded by the Crown. The Medal may be awarded posthumously.”


Q: What do you do to keep physically fit and take care of your mental wellbeing?

A: Mental and physical fitness are important factors in the professional fields of Emergency Services. I try to keep as fit as possible with weights, Pilates and having an active lifestyle.

I do find my mental well-being is linked to my physical well-being. With that in mind, I like to spend lots of time outdoors, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, paddleboarding and fishing. I find it helps keep me centered. I am actively mindful of how my background thoughts and any negative thought spiraling can impact me. I work hard to practice gratitude and I've found it's helped me to deal with adversity in my personal as well as my professional life.


Q: What’s your favourite thing to do outside of being a first responder? 

A: My favorite thing to do outside of work is spend time with my family and friends. I also enjoy spending time focusing on my hobbies which include reading, archery, and knitting.



Enjoy more first responder stories: York Region Community Open House - Celebrating First Responders and IWD 2022



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