Every year, the second week of April marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week to show our gratitude and appreciation for these essential workers.
OPSEU/SEFPO represents approximately 750 Ambulance Communications Officers (ACOs) across Ontario who handle cases of cardiac arrest, opioid overdoses, anaphylactic shock, choking, and more every day.
When emergency calls occur, ACOs offer calm expertise in the middle of the chaos. They provide lifesaving service to the public, sending help to people who need it and giving pre-arrival instructions and guidance until help arrives on scene. ACOs are the vital link in the chain of survival and play an integral part of first response. They also have a responsibility to keep Paramedics safe on the road as well – they are a life line when Paramedic safety is at risk.
When the public needs help, they call 9-1-1. But who do 9-1-1 workers call when they need help?
The Ford government’s failure to invest adequately in public services and interference with collective bargaining that capped ACOs’ wages has led to critically low staffing levels. This has increased worker burnout and moral injury, leading to increases in sick time and even lower staffing levels.
ACOs deserve better. The public deserves better.
Show your appreciation for Ontario’s Ambulance Communications Officers by joining them in their fight for improved recruitment and retention initiatives, increased investment in public services, respect for their collective bargaining rights, and an end to public healthcare privatization.
When we organize and fight together, we can win better public services for all Ontarians.