Firefighters proposal to responding to medical emergency opposed

Mississauga, September 25 (CINEWS): Not so long ago, a pedestrian crossing an intersection on Derry Road, Mississauga was hit by a car traveling at very low speed, the woman suffered superficial injuries and seemed to have hurt one foot, but minutes later an ambulance and two fire engines were on the scene. While the paramedics attended to the girl, the firemen found precious little to do and only helped in causing a traffic gridlock.SendFF
Given the fact there are fewer fires than ever before and it has become harder to justify the number of fire fighters, it is clear that fire fighters want to remain more integral in their role as first responders.
But paramedics aren’t impressed.
The proposal tabled by the Ontario Fire Fighters’ Association would allow firefighters with 20 hours of training to be dispatched to deal with medical emergencies. A union representing paramedics is voicing their concerns with the proposal, citing a relative lack of health training for these fire medics.
Paramedics are required to attend a two-year program and pass a certification exam from the provincial health ministry in order to respond to urgent medical calls.
Firefighters have already launched an online campaign called SendFirefighters.ca that claims their profession are “expert first responders, trained in advanced first aid including CPR and defibrillation.”
The campaign is stressing the move will not cost taxpayers more money and sending firefighters to medical emergencies can save lives because when people are hindered by a medical emergency, every second counts.
“Professional firefighters are already positioned across our community to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency quickly — often firefighters are the first to arrive on scene,” the website said.
“Saving a patient’s life often depends on how quickly a trained emergency responder can get to them.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne said the province is evaluating the proposal but no decisions have been made.
For Wynne, the provincial government’s objective is to ensure “people in this province, when they are in an emergency situation, get the very top care and the highest quality safety reaction.”
The premier said the proposal is being evaluated by several ministries including the Ministry of Health but her views on the matter is simple.

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