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PENTICTON, B.C.The Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. will launch a campaign to bring advance life support (ALS) ambulance services to this Okanagan city.

We have three paramedics in this community with advanced training levels but they cant use their life-saving skills and training because of a B.C. Ambulance Service policy, said Mike Burns, CUPE Local 873 spokesperson.

The BCAS policy restricts trained and licensed paramedics from providing ALS services in communities where no previous positions exist.

We could provide the highest level of training available, said Burns, an ALS paramedic. But the BCAS doesnt feel that the community and surrounding area warrant it.

The union disagrees and will begin a public campaign to urge BCAS to provide these increased emergency health services to the Penticton area.

CUPE Local 873 represents 3,500 paramedics across B.C.

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Attention editors: Local paramedics will rally outside the Penticton hospital emergency entrance at noon today (Friday).

Contact:
Mike Burns, CUPE Local 873, (250) 487-1337
Stuart Myers, Public Education Director, CUPE 873, (604) 313-7571