Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal

The Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal is the newest medal of the Exemplary Service Medal family.  It was created on July 7, 1994 to recognize 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.

Description: a circular medal:

on the obverse of which is the Star of Life, superimposed on a maple leaf, and circumscribed with EXEMPLARY SERVICE . SERVICES DISTINGUÉS, and
on the reverse of which is the Royal Cipher
the Medal is suspended from a blue ribbon with two stripes of gold 6 mm in width, equally spaced, and three stripes of Philadelphia orange 2.3 mm in width, centred on the blue areas of the ribbon; a Bar with a stylized maple leaf may be awarded to a recipient of the Medal for each additional 10-year period of service with emergency medical services


Who Qualifies to be Nominated for the Award

The Regulation states “the Medal may be awarded to any person who”:

a) Is an emergency medical services employee on or after October 31st, 1991.

b) Has completed at least 20 years of services within EMS, at least ten years of which have been serviced in the performance of duties involving potential risk as determined by the Advisory Committee, and

c) Has a record of exemplary service of such a high standard as to merit award of the Medal.


What does “potential risk” mean?

This has been defined by the Advisory committee as time spent in duties in which the individual is personally required to provide emergency treatment to patients and is, is therefore personally subject to the potential dangers at the scene and resulting from direct contact with the patient.

This means an individual must have spent time “on the car” or at least in a mobile supervisory position, the job description of which requires them to regularly attend to the scene and personally provide back up and assistance to the crews on duty.  Time spent in positions where the job descriptions do not require the incumbent to come into regular, direct contact with emergency scenes and patients will not be counted towards the “10 years of potential risk”.

What does “exemplary service” mean?

Exemplary Service is that standard of individual EMS service, performance and dedication that we wish to see imitated. It is the model of what we would wish all EMS personnel to be, rather than merely the standard of performance we require them to meet.

The Medal is recognition of the individual’s role and exemplary performance within EMS or as a recognized representative of EMS in associated Activities.

It is also important that we not give undue credit to activities that are more properly judged a part of the individual’s employment. While some things are not specifically spelled out in one’s job description they may have become, by precedent or tradition, “expected” of the individual. To take on such extra jobs without complaint may be admirable, but it is not exemplary.

An individual may “shine” merely because those about him/her are mediocre and their performances mundane. The judgment of one’s exemplary performance must be made against the “ideal” and not contemporaries…although occasionally that is appropriate.

There is also a strong possibility of a nominator being swayed by a single act of heroism and concluding that this justifies a career-long evaluation of “exemplary”. An act of heroism is cause for nominating the individual for a Bravery Award within the Canadian Honours System. It is not appropriate that the act itself be the basis for recommending an EMS Exemplary Service Medal. It may, of course, be used as merely one of many examples to illustrate an individual’s extraordinary contributions to EMS.



All nominations consist of 3 parts.

a)      The official EMS Exemplary Service Medal Nomination form (electronic version only).

b)      Documentation of the nominee’s history and evidence of exemplary service.

c)       Letter of attestation form employer/supervisor confirming the nominee’s employment and has had no serious breaches of discipline.

The nomination form may be downloaded by following the link provided below.  Samples of either the history letter or attestation letter can be provided by members of the Provincial Committee.

The History documentation gives the Provincial committee a basis on ensuring standards within Manitoba.  It is also forwarded to the Advisory committee to ensure an overall national standard.  Documentation need not be lengthy or expansive, but must adequately illustrate where the performance of the nominee exceeds that expected of an EMS practitioner.

In Manitoba, nominations must be processed by June of every year, to then be forwarded to the National Advisory committee.  This gives sufficient time for approval by the Chancellery, and construction/imprinting of the medal.

Individuals may be nominated by their employer or senior supervisor.  Self-nominations will not be accepted.

If the original nomination form and supporting documentation did not clearly identify the deeds or efforts of the nominee, the Provincial Awards committee will reevaluate any new material that was omitted and can review the decision providing new material supports the decision within a reasonable time.  The decision of the Manitoba Awards committee is final and binding.

Nomination Form

A new electronic nomination form has been developed to facilitate the nomination process.  Click on the following link.


Only electronic forms will be accepted.  More than one nominee may be entered on each form.   Under Part A, ‘Recipient’, click the box “Add another nominee”.   When providing years of service, provide month/year of start and end date, for each organization and position held.  The boxes expand to include all information.  Under Part B, ’Nominator’ the employer/senior supervisor provides their information, then dates and checks of box “Recommended”.

Send the nomination form, letter of attestation and history of nominee to:


Require Assistance:

If you experience difficulties downloading or viewing the nomination form, a copy can be emailed to you.  If you have any questions on the nomination process or the Exemplary Service Medal program, contact any member of the Manitoba Awards committee via the above e-mail.


Awards Committee – How does it work

Each province and territory has an Awards Committee, whose members are appointed by the National Advisory Committee.  The National Committee membership consists of Executive Director and 2 Directors of the Canadian Confederation of Ambulance Service Associations.  Nominations for the medal are submitted to your Provincial Committee, who reviews the data and recommends to the National Committee.  The National Committee reviews eligibility of nominees, and if acceptable, submits to the Chancellery, the branch of the office of the Governor General responsible for the administration of honours.  The Chancellery then submits the nominations to the Governor General for approval.

The Manitoba EMS Exemplary Service Medal Award Committee:

The committee is made up of a Chairperson and 2 committee members, appointed by the National Advisory Committee.  Each position is totally voluntary with no remuneration of any kind.


Mr. Ken Gurba


Mrs. Barb Cameron

Mr. Thor Stevens

Ms. Leah Braun

Manitoba EMS Exemplary Service Awards Committee
Unit 230 – 530 Century Street
Winnipeg, MB
R3H 0Y4

Email: mbmedal@esmmb.ca

Web Page : www.esmmb.ca