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Thursday, June 30, 2016

CUPE Opposes Paramedic Change

Huron County | by Peter Jackson  

CUPE asks Huron to give reconsider plan to eliminate advanced care paramedics.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is asking the County of Huron to give sober second thought to the proposal to eliminate advanced care paramedics.

In a report to Council's Committee of the Whole on June 15th, Acting Chief of Emergency Services Jeff Horseman suggests that ACPs who retire or move away could be replaced by primary care paramedics.

Horseman's report shows that any cost savings would be realized gradually over a 30-year period.

Huron paramedics are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Vice President of CUPE Local 4513 Brad Watters says Huron would lose the expertise of 14 paramedics who carry the highest qualifications.

He predicts that losing the ACPs would result in an erosion of the quality of response and on-scene care the ACPs currently provide.

Watters believes cost shouldn't be an issue, because half of the $177,000 cost of the advanced care paramedic program is picked up by the province.

He tells Bayshore Broadcasting News that Huron is a place newly-trained ACPs want to come to, after going through the extra cost of studying for the higher paramedic qualifications.

Watters will appear as a delegation before County Council next Wednesday, to state the union's case.

The issue was tabled by Committee of the Whole in mid-June, pending further information.

Huron is one of 27 areas across the province that offers the advanced care paramedic program, while Perth and Bruce Counties do not.



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