OPSEU/SEFPO members applaud $6.7 million Hamilton ambulance investment

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The Hamilton Spectator is reporting on a large extra investment that City of Hamilton has just made in its ambulance services. The $6.7 million boost is a 23 per cent increase over last year’s ambulance budget.

“We need to staff up in order to keep up,” said Mario Posteraro, President of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 256.

With the cash boost, HPS will hire 35 full-time paramedics, the city said. That will also translate to seven more ambulances on city streets during peak volume hours, improving response capacity and lessening staff workload.

Posteraro called the increased funding a “necessary” assistance that will improve patient care across the city. But there’s still work to be done, he said.

“(It won’t) eliminate the ambulance and staffing deficit which has plagued our service for many years,” Posteraro said.

“Years of underfunding, increasing call volumes and dealing with COVID-19 related challenges have taken their toll on the well being of our paramedics, with increasing levels of stress, mental health issues and absenteeism.”

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