AS FEATURED IN
In 1982 I began my career as a paramedic. As a young 21-year-old, I was on top of the world, working for an urban paramedic service. I felt as if I knew everything there was to know about life. Little did I know, I knew absolutely nothing!
Two months into my career, I recall responding to a call that would teach me a life lesson that would guide my life, and change me.
On a hot summer day, my partner and I were dispatched to a call where a person had collapsed and was unconscious. On arrival, I found my patient to be a homeless person who appeared inebriated. His clothes were ripped and tattered. He smelled bad, not having showered in weeks. His hair was shoulder-length, dirty, and messy. His beard was unkept, long, and filthy. He was lying on a sidewalk trying to sleep. He admitted to drinking a liquid aftershave to satisfy his need for alcohol.
I assisted my patient up off the sidewalk and walked him to the ambulance. En route to the hospital, I asked him two questions, “Why don’t you get off your ass a get a job? What happened to you that caused you to be homeless?” I wasn’t prepared for his answer.
“I was a successful lawyer. One night, my house burned to the ground, and I lost my wife and four kids. If I want to sleep on the streets and get drunk, that’s my choice.”
I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. I was ashamed for asking these questions. I felt small. I was angry with myself for judging my patient. I wanted to crawl under a rock.
My patient taught me that WE ALL HAVE A STORY.
Recovery from Trauma is complex, isolating, frightening, and at times, appears insurmountable.
What is your story?
As your coach and mentor, I would be honoured to help you redefine success. Together, we can achieve more than you ever thought possible. Together, we will make a difference.
My Professional Background
I am a transformational leader who has significantly impacted the trajectory of the mental health conversation in Canada.
As a former paramedic and a PTSD survivor, I am no stranger to crisis and trauma. Instead of letting various traumatic experiences define me, I have made it my life’s mission to learn how to deal with trauma in healthy ways, develop resiliency, and positively impact mental health conversations.
In 2001, I founded a national charity instrumental in providing advocacy, education, training, and peer and psychological support to Canada's public safety community.
I have embraced change on multiple occasions often redefining my purpose. I am a graduate of the Law and Security Administration and the Ambulance and Emergency Care programs, at Humber College. I have held careers in Paramedicine, Financial Services, and Non-Profit sectors.
Today, I help individuals understand their stories and help them learn how to deal with trauma in healthy ways, develop resiliency, and positively impact their mental health and well-being.
I am a graduate of the Certified Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University.
I'm humbled to have been recognized for my accomplishments by the Governor-General of Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.
What people are saying
"I have known Mr. Vince Savoia for three decades. He is a warm, compassionate and caring human being who channelled his own personal psychological response to a tragic event into a highly effective effort to raise awareness of critical incident stress and PTSD and their effect on first responders.
His leadership and advocacy has not only helped him achieve this goal but have directly contributed to the development and implementation of programs and legislation to support and assist individuals working in the emergency response and military communities who have been stricken by work-related mental injuries."
Steve Urszenyi, Author
Retired, Commander Ontario Emergency Medical Assistance Team
Tactical Advanced Care Paramedic, Emergency Management and CBRNE Specialist