Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

September 16, 2011 11:40 ET

Media Advisory: Offload delays, poor funding for more skilled paramedics, jeopardizing public safety, say Ontario paramedics rallying Monday in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2011) - Ontario paramedics are taking their concerns to the street. They want political parties vying for election this October to pay more attention to the key issues jeopardizing emergency medical services (EMS): too few paramedics and ambulances and too few hospital beds. After the election, funding plans suggest that these problems will get much worse, even the replacement of professional paramedics by less trained non-paramedical staff.

On Monday, September 19, 2011, 11:30 a.m., the paramedics will rally on Toronto's hospital row at the Toronto General Hospital Elm Street emergency entrance.

Chronic ambulance and paramedic shortages are being felt in communities across the province, says Sandra Hynds, an Advanced Care Paramedic from York Region.

More than 18,000 hospital beds have been cut across the province and bed occupancy rates are exceptionally high.

"Ambulances are routinely pulled off the street and unavailable to respond to 911 calls," says Hynds, "because they are waiting to offload patients at backlogged emergency rooms. That has to change or people's lives are put in jeopardy."

Paramedics and other EMS workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees are attending a two-day conference at the Hyatt Hotel (King St.) in Toronto on September 19 and 20.

Contact Information

  • York Region Advanced Care Paramedic;
    Chair, Ambulance Committee
    of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario
    Sandra Hynds
    (905) 953-6746

    CUPE Communications
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300