Every National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which falls April 11-17 this year, OPSEU/SEFPO wants to remind all Ontarians that our ambulance communications officers are perfect examples of the kind of grit and dedication that all our front-line members bring to public service to save lives across Ontario.
There are few jobs more stressful and demanding than ensuring an ambulance arrives quickly at the scene of a medical emergency. Precious seconds lost or the wrong intersection given could make a critical situation worse or it could even mean the loss of lives. Just imagine doing that over long 12-hour shifts.
What makes it even harder is that, no matter how tired or stressed they are, ambulance communications officers must think clearly and remain calm amidst panic, confusion and distress. This is, quite simply, exceptional work that’s carried out days and nights, weekdays and weekends, 365 days a year.
OPSEU/SEFPO has always recognized their challenges, and after years of pressuring the Ontario government, communications officers are now covered under PTSD legislation.
With COVID-19 their jobs got even more challenging as most members have to ensure that someone responsible and reliable is available to care for dependants – no easy task. Our ambulance communications officers simply can’t work from home: there’s no room for distractions or errors with this profession.
So to all our hardworking communications officers, on behalf of every Ontarian during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, we say a hearty thank you for getting us the care we need, when we need it, wherever we need it.
OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer