To celebrate Paramedic Services Week, Unifor recognizes and expresses gratitude to all paramedics for their exceptional courage, compassion and dedication to saving lives.
“First responders often perform their work in dangerous conditions, making them true heroes in our public health care system,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I am very proud to stand with the hundreds of EMS workers represented by our union.”
While we celebrate the vital work of our EMS members, we must also sound the alarm.
The Ford government has launched a direct assault on public services in Ontario. As part of this attack, they plan to amalgamate 59 local ambulance services in Ontario into ten large regional services, removing all local accountability. They also recently announced land ambulance grants will be frozen at 2017-2018 levels. Plans to privatize Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance service are in the works.
“Doug Ford’s cuts to ambulance services will come with high costs and reduced services,” said Dias. “The method of slash and burn has been tried before and resulted in compromised services and enormous costs, not savings.”
There are already slower response times in rural areas due to long travel distances. Urban areas face and inadequate numbers of ambulances available due to crisis-level hospital overcrowding and paramedics stuck in long offload delays.
The union is working tirelessly to defend public health care. Unifor has made submissions to government standing committees, and alongside the Ontario Health Coalition, planned the “Stop to Cuts to Health Care” rally that attracted more than 10,000 people.
Download and share the Paramedic Services Week 2019 shareables and join us in thanking all Paramedics for their compassion, humanity and life-saving work in our communities.