Paramedics union warns of resources shortages, says region’s proposal not enough
Published Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:18AM EST
The local paramedics union has put in a formal request to the Region of Waterloo for more resources.
Right now the region has proposed adding two 12-hour ambulances.
The union says that’s not enough to keep up with the growing demand.
Instead, the union says they need four additional 24 hour ambulances.
“This service is heavily relying on the surrounding area's which is definitely a problem and it's concerning not only for our region but now also impacting the regions around us,” Said Luke McCann, President of CUPE 5191.
In January the region was in a ‘code red’ situation for 15 hours, when there are no ambulances available in the Region.
When this happens, an ambulance from a neighbouring community is brought in.
“We need to ensure that we have more resources so that we can respond to the calls as quickly as possible to anyone's call no matter where they are in the region,” says McCann.
Regional Councillor Sean Strickland says this isn’t a resource issue, the problem is lengthy delays at the hospital that tie up paramedics and ambulances.
“From the region’s perspective, we have increased funding to ambulance service over the last three years by $10 million, we are contemplating adding $2 million an extra this year including 12 people and 2 ambulance in this budget cycle, that will provide them with additional resources to help deliver the service, but we really need to focus on off-load delays,” Said Councilor Strickland.
The paramedics union disagrees, it says calls for paramedic services are growing four times faster than the population, and the call volume is expected to grow another 60 per cent over the next decade.
With reporting from Virginia Wright