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Toronto needs more paramedics, says their union

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The Toronto ambulance union deplores the lack of ambulances. (File photo)


The City of Toronto is not prepared to respond to a mass casualty event due to lack of ambulances, deplores the spokesperson for the Municipality's ambulance union.

I don't know how we're going to handle a huge disaster, wonders Mike Merriman, who chairs the ambulance unit, one of 13 sections of " a union representing blue-collar workers in the City of Toronto.

On Monday, the union declared a Code Red, meaning there were no ambulances left to respond to emergency calls. Toronto paramedics therefore asked their colleagues in neighboring municipalities for help.

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Union representative Mike Merriman says Toronto is not prepared to respond to a mass incident. (Archive photo)

What will we do when there is a serious incident if we have to call paramedics from other areas to respond to a normal volume of calls?

A quote from Mike Merriman, repr&#233 ;union feel

Mike Merriman believes the lack of ambulances is due to chronic underfunding as well as a lack of staff. According to the union spokesperson, an increase in the number of managerial positions at the expense of front-line staff has contributed to the staffing shortage.

Provincial subsidies, which represent almost the entire revenue of the city's ambulance service, increased from $168.1 million in 2020 to $201.8 million this year. But demand has also increased in recent years.

Pre-COVID, less than 10% of ambulances were available for calls an average of 36 minutes per day; in 2022, that weekly average has increased to 5 hours 16 minutes, a jump of 780%.

This has resulted in a negative impact on response time to calls where a person's life is in danger, reads -on in the 2023 budget.

A spokesperson for the City of Toronto, Dineen Robinson, clarified that paramedics face significant pressure in hospitals when they unload patients.

According to the 2023 budget, Toronto paramedics spent an average of 800 hours per day in hospitals in 2022, 23% more than in 2019.

The waiting time at the hospital is the biggest contributor to the lack of ambulances in the community.

A quote from From the 2023 Ambulance Services Budget

Dineen Robinson says that the population can improve the availability of ambulances for the most pressing needs by turning to walk-in clinics or the Santé811 telephone line if they have minor health problems.

With information from CBC

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116