Injured paramedic helps save colleagues hurt in blast

The three paramedics and two police officers injured in Wednesday's accident at a tactical training exercise in Kanata continue their recovery.

The officers were practicing gaining entry into a building using explosives when the incident occurred in the morning, seriously injuring two of the paramedics, Reid Purdy and Craig MacInnes.

A third paramedic, Brad Ross, suffered minor injuries in the blast, but is being credited with helping to save their lives.

Paramedic Chief Anthony Di Monte said Ross, despite being injured, didn't hesitate to begin treatment on his colleagues.

"He was in the same vicinity of the other two, but didn't receive any of the blast," said Di Monte. "Actually, he was the one that jumped on his two colleagues immediately to start treatment, but he was in the same vicinity and he got splash over as we call it."

Di Monte told CFRA Ross' actions say a lot about him.

"Saving lives - that's what we do in the community and it's hard-wired into us," he said. "Brad is just a reflection of the many tremendous members we have that, you know what? When the chips are down, they're just focusing on helping."

Both Purdy and MacInnes remained in serious condition as of Thursday morning.

"They spent a restful night, as one can say, but they're still sedated as a result of their injuries, but things didn't devolve negatively over the night," he said. "But they're still in serious condition and our thoughts and prayers are with them and we're following the evolution hour by hour."

Purdy has served with Ottawa Paramedics for eight years, while MacInnes has been with the service for 22.

MacInnes is not only the superintendent of the paramedic tactical team, but was the first paramedic on scene when police Const. Eric Czapnik was stabbed to death in front of the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 2009.

He wrestled the killer to the ground and was rewarded for his efforts with a Medal of Bravery from Governor General David Johnston.

"Craig is a tremendous individual," said Di Monte. "You know the incidents of the loss of Const. Czapnik and we was there that evening and we all know the heroic actions that took place. I don't hesitate to use that word. A lot of people do and it's used to often, but I think for his actions I think it's appropriate."

Both MacInnes and Purdy are expected to survive.

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