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Tornado Fundraiser: Ottawa Paramedic and her Family Lucky to be Alive

Date: 2018-09-23

Ottawa Paramedics are fundraising to assist Ottawa Paramedic Nicole Lowden and her family after they suffered severe damage to the home they were renting in Dunrobin. Family members were in the house at the time and very lucky to have escaped largely unharmed as part of the house was ripped away while they were huddled together in a corner of the kitchen (the house has no basement).

The Ottawa Paramedic HELP (Helping Every Local Paramedic) Fund has been working hard at providing disaster assistance to Nicole Lowden and her family. Nicole's daughter has also been battling Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma and was mid-way through chemotherapy when the disaster struck. This is a family who clearly needs a home.

NOTE: We have received written permission to provide personal health information.

We would also like to thank Ottawa Paramedic Service for networking with our partner agencies to provide assets in order to help Nicole get some personal belongings out of the home. Nicole and her family are presently bunking with friends and have borrowed a small car. However, they need a place to stay.

We know that a number of paramedics have been affected by these EF2 and EF3 Tornadoes in one way or another with everything from hydro outages to no water, no phones, no cell service and/or property damage.

Immediate $1000 Donation

The Ottawa Paramedic HELP Fund Committee has put together an immediate $1000 donation to HELP Nicole's family over the first hurdle. There will be more hurdles.

Additional Support

HELP Fund Committee Members Faye Proctor, Allison McKenzie and Deanna Schofield immediately started putting a plan into action to assist Nicole's family.

President Darryl Wilton began reaching out to friends, colleagues and allied partners in an effort to find housing and transportation so Nicole's family could stay in the area.

We wanted something with enough bedrooms for her children and close enough that Nicole could get back and forth while collecting personal items from her home. Our hopes were to be able to find a suitable house that could accommodate her entire family.

On Sunday afternoon, Darryl received a phone call from someone reaching out to provide Nicole with some amazing new solutions and immediately reached out to contact her.

Ottawa Fire Chief Provides Housing

After speaking to our allied partners at the Ottawa Chapter of the OPFFA, the fire union executive got to work and fanned out a message.

Sunday Sept at 1:29pm, Darryl received an incredible phone call from Ottawa Fire Chief Kim Ayotte. He wanted to be put into contact with Nicole and laid out his plan to assist her.

Ottawa Fire Chief Kim Ayotte recently moved out of the Dunrobin area and had put his home up for sale. The home was roughly 1 km from the disaster site and was left unscathed by the EF3 tornado. It was currently sitting unoccupied and Chief Kim Ayotte did not even hesitate to assist.

The home was large enough and still partially furnished as it had recently been put on the market for sale. Fire Chief Kim Ayotte graciously offered his house to Nicole Lowden's family until they could find suitable accommodations. In the spirit of taking care of one another, he has asked for nothing in return.

Our community coming together has been absolutely amazing!

Darryl phoned Nicole and put her in immediate contact with Chief Kim Ayotte. By Sunday at dinner time, she had collected some personal belongings and made her way to the new house.

So what does she need at this point? Beds.

PPAO Member Donations

Any PPAO member looking to make donations is asked to simply access your member account at www.OttawaParamedics.ca and select a monthly HELP Fund donation amount.

The HELP Fund always responds to paramedics in need and the HELP Fund always needs donations from members so that they can respond immediately on your behalf.

Public Donations

Any member of the public or paramedics from other regions looking to make lump-sum donations are asked to simply access www.OttawaParamedics.ca/donate and select your HELP Fund donation amount.

News Media

We would like to thank the Ottawa Citizen for covering this story:

Social Media

Please follow us on social media for more updates:


Please contact the Ottawa Paramedic HELP Fund for more information:


  • Allison McKenzie, HELP Fund Director
  • Brian Morris
  • Deanna Schofield
  • Faye Proctor
  • Jennifer Kortko
  • John Blythe
  • Julie Laplante
  • Paul Morneau
  • Scott Stephens
  • Steve Hallam
  • Stephanie Breau (CACC)
  • Stephanie Desrochers (CACC)


On behalf of the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa, I would like to thank you for your support and consideration.

Darryl Wilton

Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa


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