Ambulance service is ‘essential’
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 email@example.com. 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,
STALLED TALKS: Striking paramedics demonstrated in Alexandria to protest stalled contract talks.