"They sacrificed their own lives while trying to save another. Sometimes we forget the risks that our paramedics face in the line of duty." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Beausejour (30 July 2015) — On July 27, 2015, Manitoba paramedics marched in honour of two of their own who died in a highway accident while on the job twenty years ago.
“We’re here to show the community and their families that these dedicated men have not been forgotten,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “As a former rural paramedic myself, this event means an awful lot to me.”
Memorial serves as a reminder of the risks paramedics take to save the lives of others
Over 200 paramedics and community members gathered to remember 41-year-old Keith Barrie and 28-year-old Manuel Cuadros.
Barrie and Cuadros had just left the hospital in Beausejour on their way to an emergency call when they were struck by a semi-trailer on July 27, 1995.
“They sacrificed their own lives while trying to save another,” Gawronsky said. “Sometimes we forget the risks that our paramedics face in the line of duty, and it’s so important today that we remember and recognize the incredible commitment these men had to serving their community. It’s not something we should ever take for granted.”
The Manitoba paramedic honour guard and the Beausejour Brokenhead Fire Department organized the memorial service at the Brokenhead River Community Hall, the parade to St. Mary Roman Catholic Cemetery, and the laying of wreaths at the graves of Barrie and Cuadros.
Barrie and Cuadros each left behind a wife and two young sons.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE