Maple Ridge lost one of its heroes last week after a paramedic died in a motorcycle collision at a busy intersection on Lougheed Highway.
A memorial fixed to a lamp pole at 105th Avenue reads “Rest in Peace Ryan Ferrier, you will be forever missed.”
Police, however, haven’t released the name, only saying that a 43-year-old Maple Ridge man died in the crash involving a transport truck at about 4:20 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29.
The motorcycle was westbound at the time and the semi truck was making a left turn off Lougheed Highway on to 105th Avenue, say Ridge Meadows RCMP.
Pitt Meadows paramedic Lorie Muller worked with Ferrier just the day before and said the whole paramedic community is feeling the loss, as well as hospital emergency room nurses, doctors, firefighters and police.
“We all work pretty close together.”
Linda Lupini, vice-president for B.C. Emergency Health Services said, “it’s an extremely sad time for this paramedic’s family, friends, co-workers and the entire B.C. Emergency Health Services Family.
“Paramedics devote themselves to the health and well-being of other people, and to lose one of our own is devastating.”
Counselling and support is available to other paramedics who need it at this time, she added.
Muller’s Facebook page expresses her feelings on losing a fellow paramedic, when that colleague’s job has been to save others.
“Yesterday, we lost a great friend, father, soccer dad, paramedic. Shock is the feeling we all suffered initially, then disbelief. How can a life be taken so quickly, without warning?” Muller asked.
“Our employer offers help if needed, they are trying their best to look after the paramedic family in this time of grief and sadness.”
Her comments attest to the challenges of serving as a paramedic, who along with police and firefighters are the first on scene of accidents, fires and a range of indescribable tragedies.
“We do not deal with the tragic death of a family member everyday, so it hits us differently,” she said.
“If your crew wasn’t unfortunate enough to attend this particular accident, then you imagine in your own mind what it looked like at the scene, who was there, what the first responders felt, how your colleges are managing, and the outcome of our dear friends (and) family after the news came via RCMP.”
Life, she said, is fragile.
“It is not timeless, it is now.”
Muller tells her coworkers to take care of themselves so they can be the type of paramedic they want to be when they start a shift. And knowing when to book off for the day during the middle of a tough shift is a difficult decision.
“Remember you are human, you have a deeper understanding of death than most.
“When we do not feel, we lose a sense of humanity, and that my friends, is when we need to call it quits for the night.”
Muller tells her fellow paramedics to then go home and hug their family and pets and take care of themselves.
That way, paramedics can be the best they can be when they go back shift and, “calls (are) holding … Pitt bridge and the bypass needs coverage. Someone needs you to be at your best for their emergency, whatever it is. We need to be able to be kind.
“Thank God for days off. See you next block.”