Am­bu­lance ser­vice is ‘es­sen­tial’

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Ed­i­tor, Our paramedics are on strike. The city of Corn­wall is not ne­go­ti­at­ing. It is my un­der­stand­ing that there are three am­bu­lances avail­able dur­ing the day and two at night. These am­bu­lances are parked in Corn­wall. For me, if I needed paramedics it would take an hour to reach me com­ing from Corn­wall. They need to be back in our com­mu­ni­ties.

As some­one who is here to­day be­cause paramedics could re­spond quickly to a 911 call I am over­whelmed with the fact that we presently do not have ad­e­quate para­medic ser­vices. The fast re­sponse time and their ex­cep­tional skills and equip­ment were what saved my life.

The paramedics are em­ployed by the city of Corn­wall. The cost is shared by the prov­ince, Stor­mont, Dun­das, Glen­garry coun­ties and the city of Corn­wall. But, the ne­go­ti­a­tions are with the City of Corn­wall.

There are many com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince of On­tario who con­sider their paramedics as es­sen­tial ser­vices. This means that if there is an in­abil­ity to ne­go­ti­ate with the paramedics then it can go to ar­bi­tra­tion. They would not be forced to strike when the City of Corn­wall will not ne­go­ti­ate. Police and fire are es­sen­tial ser­vices and do not strike; they can go to ar­bi­tra­tion.

I beg the mayor and coun­cil­lors of Corn­wall to de­clare our paramedics as es­sen­tial ser­vices and get our paramedics back to their job of sav­ing lives. Let this go to ar­bi­tra­tion. If you can't ne­go­ti­ate then this is the only so­lu­tion avail­able.

You are treat­ing our paramedics as a trans­porta­tion ser­vice, sug­gest­ing that a taxi can do the same job.

Paramedics are highly trained med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als who we have come to de­pend upon and feel comfort know­ing that they are there for us should there be an emer­gency.

It seems to me that your ac­tions to al­low this strike is ir­re­spon­si­ble and very dan­ger­ous. You have put the com­mu­nity at risk.

This is an ur­gent is­sue. De­clare our paramedics as es­sen­tial ser­vices. Get them back to work!

To those who live in Corn­wall, and Stor­mont, Dun­das and Glen­garry and those who travel through this area please, please make your voices heard.

There is a pub­lic Face­book group you can join and fol­low called “Sup­port Our Paramedics,” and a petition you can sign. This petition will soon be sent to the mayor and the coun­cil­lors of Corn­wall. Click on link be­low. https://www.thep­e­ti­tion­site.com/e n- ca/ 658/ 994/ 931/ sup­port- our­paramedics/?taf_id=56361002&cid =fb_na

Also, you can write let­ters, let our rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the coun­ties and city of Corn­wall know about the ur­gency of this situation.

For mat­ters re­lat­ing to the Mayor and/or City Coun­cil, please call (613) 930-2787 ext. 2386. You can also send an e-mail to all Coun­cil mem­bers via coun­cil­lors@corn­wall.ca. For e-mail ad­dresses and phone num­bers for in­di­vid­ual Coun­cil mem­bers go to http://www.corn­wall.ca/en/cao/co un­cil­pro­files.asp Glenna Van Drunen,

Dun­ve­gan

STALLED TALKS: Strik­ing paramedics demon­strated in Alexan­dria to protest stalled con­tract talks.

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