By Matthew Liebenberg
For the Southwest Booster
A Swift Current firefighter has achieved the highest score in Canada on the primary care paramedic (PCP) exam.
The academic success of Tanner Lange was recognized during a presentation at a regular City of Swift Current council meeting, May 29.
Swift Current Fire Chief Ryan Hunter introduced Lange and provided details about his achievement.
Lange is the recipient of the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators 2022 PCP Award of Excellence for his score of 795 out of 800 in the entry to practice examination for primary care paramedics.
Hunter noted that all paramedics must pass this exam to be licensed and to practise in Canada.
“This exam is intense and feared by all,” he said. “After all your medical and practical training, if a student does not pass this final exam, he or she will not be granted a license to practise. Quite simply no license, no career as a paramedic and no career as a firefighter paramedic in Swift Current.”
He was amazed when he first heard about Lange’s exam score. Hunter was then informed by the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics that it was the highest score ever and he naturally assumed it was the highest mark achieved by someone in the province.
“I misunderstood,” Hunter said. “Tanner had the highest score that has ever been recorded by any paramedic in Canada ever. This is an incredible personal achievement that Tanner adds to the whole team at the City of Swift Current Fire Department and I wanted to bring him to council so that all of us could recognize the significance of his accomplishment.”
Several council members made congratulatory remarks in response to the presentation and also had some questions for Lange.
“It’s an amazing achievement and it’s reassuring to know that our city is in such capable hands should things go awry,” Councillor Ryan Switzer said.
Lange indicated the passing grade for this entry to practice exam is 450. This exam only needs to be written once, but there are ongoing requirements to continue to work as a paramedic.
“After that, each year you have to have a certain amount of hours or credits towards continuing education and practice, and then reapply each year,” he explained. “If you don’t reapply or you don’t have the hours or the training credits, then you don’t get a license for the next year. So just kind of that continual upkeep, but not that exam. It’s just a one-time thing and then you’re done.”
He completed the part-time PCP program at Great Plains College while working at the Swift Current Fire Department. He graduated with great distinction and received the college’s academic achievement award. He felt his success in the PCP exam was due to thorough preparation.
“I was preparing throughout my entire program for that exam,” he said. “I really kind of kicked it up a notch two months before the exam, but I think that exam was in the back of my mind the entire program from day one starting there. I knew that was probably the biggest hurdle that I’d have to overcome. So I just kind of buckled down and then dedicated myself throughout the program to make sure that I was doing well and had a good understanding and gave myself the best opportunity to be successful.”