WINDSOR, ONT. -- An Essex-Windsor EMS paramedic is receiving provincial recognition after he rescued a swimmer in the ocean while on vacation.

Deputy Chief Justin Lammers has earned the Ontario Award for Paramedic Bravery, the province announced Thursday.

The award was created to honour paramedics who have performed an act of exceptional courage.

On Dec.9, 2019, while on vacation, Lammers noticed that a swimmer was struggling in the ocean, 200 feet offshore. He tried to communicate with the swimmer using hand signs, but it became apparent that the man was in trouble and needed immediate help.

With no life jacket or flotation device nearby, Lammers grabbed his son’s bodyboard and ran towards the water. He was able to get to the struggling swimmer and provided him with the bodyboard to rest upon until the beach police boat arrived and brought them onboard.

This year, 13 paramedics are being recognized for courageous actions. Award recipients were selected from nominations submitted in 2019 and 2020.