North Bay, Ont. – Privatizing emergency medical services (EMS) in West Nipissing will divert already scarce resources into private profits and undermine community safety, said the union representing West Nipissing paramedics, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1101, at an emergency rally today.
“West Nipissing, with a population of 13,000, already only receives 20 hours of EMS coverage daily,” said Denis Allard, President of CUPE 1101. “Introducing a profit motive will put even more pressure on resources and could lead to less service. Let’s keep the ambulance service public and not weaken it by sucking money into private profits.”
The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) held a briefing at North Bay City Hall today for companies interested in privatizing the public service. CUPE paramedics rallied outside to draw attention to the risks of privatizing emergency services.
“Privatizing ambulance services will take us down the wrong road,” Allard said. “What do we privatize next? Fire and police? It doesn’t make economic or health sense to privatize emergency services. Our community’s safety is not for sale.”
The union called on the NDSSAB to take over the service, keep it public, and ensure the community continues to receive public emergency medical services delivered by 16 CUPE paramedics.
“We are calling on the NDSSAB to take over the West Nipissing ambulance service,” Allard said. “Let’s keep community control over this vital public service, not contract it out to a company with no ties to our community.”
For more information, please contact:
David Robbins, CUPE Communications 613-878-1431 (C)
Denis Allard President, CUPE 1101 705 358 3110 (C