SASKATOON -- A handful of new paramedics will be hitting the streets of Saskatoon starting January 27.

Eight new primary care paramedics with Medavie Health Services West were honoured at a special graduation ceremony on Friday.

In the period from 2015 to 2019 there has been an eight per cent boost in calls. In 2019 there were more than 31,000 calls. Taking these numbers into account, these new paramedics will boost Medavie’s team.

“I’m looking forward to when we can release them on their own and work with other partners as second one of two, in an ambulance that provide relief. Not only for senior people and those leaving and requesting time off. Now we can backfill those time. Operational efficiency is number one,” said Garry Schriemer, the treasurer of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada.

Chris Kerr, one of these graduates, said he is “excited to get out on the streets," and he is looking forward to applying the experience he gained while in North Battleford and Pelican Narrows into a busier centre.

Starting Monday the graduates will begin their mentorship for the next six weeks and are the first of 40 paramedics Medavie hopes to hire this year.