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Support your local paramedics! A statement from OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Illustration of ambulances

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas released the following statement today to mark Paramedic Services Week.

This week is Paramedic Services Week. It’s a great time to pay special tribute to ambulance paramedics everywhere – in Ontario and beyond.

If you or someone you know has ever needed an ambulance, you know the feeling of relief when the paramedics arrive. Paramedics care for patients and save lives, often under traumatic circumstances. They are everyday heroes.

That’s why it’s so important to support them any way we can. We have a highly effective EMS system in Ontario, but it can still be improved. OPSEU is proud to represent more than 2,100 paramedics in 20 Ontario communities, and with the leadership of our Ambulance Division, we continue to call on the Ontario government to make changes to make the system better in the following ways:

  • By funding ambulance services to meet demand that is growing by six per cent a year
  • By providing our 911 dispatch system with better tools to prioritize calls and deliver the right care, at the right time, by the right provider
  • By increasing the number of single-paramedic response units, backed up by ambulances, to reduce the response time in emergencies
  • By building a registry for life-saving defibrillators and supporting more public defibrillators and CPR training
  • By expanding community paramedic programs that deliver non-emergency, in-home services and help reduce the number of 911 calls

To learn more about the changes OPSEU’s Ambulance Division is calling for, please watch our recent video here. And then, when you get a chance, thank a paramedic!