The Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association wants to test a fire-medic model that would see trained fire personnel attend medical emergencies.
The media recently has been covering the fact that Ottawa paramedics are so strapped with calls that ambulances are being called from other jurisdictions to this area. Certainly the aging demographic is putting more pressure on the city’s paramedic service.
Local paramedics responded to 137,953 calls. Fire fighters covered 24,002 incidents of which 17 per cent were medical emergencies.
Perhaps that tells you why the fire service wants to do more medical calls. We don’t have as many fires as we used to.
Your agent doesn’t know what is the proper size for a fire service but it seems certain that paramedics will need more people as baby boomers enter their high health-care years.
Think for a moment. Do you ask for more work if you are overworked?
Emergency and protective services general manager Anthony Di Monte, a good man, needs to tackle this extremely difficult staffing problem.
You want highly trained fire fighters to handle the very worthwhile work for which they have prepared. Same goes for paramedics. Accordingly the fire-medic proposal is dubious. Di Monte is guarded in his response to the issue but it appears he isn’t keen on the fire-medic proposal. Neither is the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
The future need in the community seems to indicate that paramedics will become very valuable.
Di Monte needs to take a close look at his personnel situation and decide how many fire fighters he needs and how many paramedics he will need in the future.
Video above: Ottawa fire fighters in action.
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