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Council opposes Ontario’s proposed fire-medics
ALEXIA MARSILLO firstname.lastname@example.org
The Clarence-RocklandMunicipal Council opposes Ontario’s proposal to pilot a pro- ject of fire-medics in certainmunicipalities. The idea of introducing fire-medics comes as a solution to compensate for the increasing demand being placed onmedical emergency services A fire-medic refers to a cross-trained firefighter capable of per- forming certain paramedic skills, and the- refore would be able to respond to certain calls that are not normally diffused to fire departments. Themain purpose of this proposal is to lift some weight off of the shoulders of parame- dics that have been seeing a high volume of calls. Paramedic services are presently being highly utilized, which has led to occasions of
La Cité de Clarence-Rockland s’oppose au projet pilote de pompiers-médicaux dans certaines municipalités, proposé par la province, afin de compenser la demande croissante pour les services d’urgence médicale. Le principal objectif de cette proposition est d’alléger les travaux des ambulanciers paramédicaux qui reçoivent un grand nombre d’appels. Conséquemment, cela augmentera les coûts des municipalités pour les services d’incendie. —photo d’archives delayed responses by ambulances inmuni- cipalities all over the province. Ontario’s argument is that, on the other hand, fire departments have excess manpower and can respond to a higher number of calls. Several concerns have been raised, howe- ver, by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and have been echoed by the City of Clarence-Rockland, regarding the proposed pilot project. First is that the AMO is under the impres- sion that if one or two municipalities are granted fire-medics, it will then be forced on all municipalities. The Association cites, in its position paper released on thematter, the example of a pilot project regarding 24-hour shifts, which was subsequently forced onto other municipalities, and has now become the normacross the province despite objec- tion from several municipalities. The other main concern is the financial impact this may have on municipalities, particularly due to the possibility of fire asso- ciations demanding a raise in salary for their increased responsibilities. Also, the number of firefighters that would have to respond to a call, in order to also satisfy the medi- cal needs of the situation, would double. Consequently, this may also decrease the number of staff hired in the paramedic ser- vices department. This bill, titled Bill 160 Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act 2017, calls for certain changes to the Ambu- lance Act that would allow the creation of a fire-medic pilot project that would be tested out in twomunicipalities. Bill 160 has already passed its second reading in provincial par- liament and is currently at Committee. The City of Clarence-Rockland is expected to vote on its official rejection to this pro- posal at its next council meeting and then notify the province.
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