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ONTARIO - County of Huron paramedics, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are urging county council to reject the proposal to phase out Advanced Care Paramedics (ACPs) in Huron County. Council will vote to decide on this proposal to lower the quality of paramedical care on July 6, which will affect the services currently offered by 14 ACPs, members of CUPE 4513.

“Our members are in the business of saving lives in our community,” said Brad Watters, spokesperson for CUPE 4513. “We want council to show leadership and allow our ACPs to continue to use their education, continuous training and high skill sets to save lives in our community.”

CUPE 4513 represents 72 Primary Care Paramedics and 14 Advanced Care Paramedics. ACPs are required to maintain a higher level of skills and specialized service with advanced education and training. Their accreditation, and continually updated training, allows ACPs to assess and provide prehospital care that helps patients in distress and emergency situations.

“Our education, training and experience allows ACPs to utilize a set of skills and tools that help patients in distress, including treating pain, preventing further injuries and saving lives,” continued Watters. “That is why we find it puzzling that our elected leaders would even contemplate lowering the standard of paramedical care in our community. Shouldn’t they want what is best for our community?”

Huron County is one of 27 municipalities in Ontario that offer Advanced Care Paramedics to their residents. “These communities benefit from the services of ACPs – it gives residents the added insurance, value and comfort knowing that they have access to elevated paramedical service to help them in emergency situations,” said Watters. “We are urging council to not let Huron County be the first municipality in Ontario to lower the standard of paramedical care and prevent ACPs from saving lives in Huron County.”

“We want our council to think of the countless lives that paramedics have saved over the years and the lives of many loved ones that ACPs can save in the future,” concluded Watters. “On July 6, we are urging council to vote to save more lives in our community.” Representatives from CUPE 4513 will be making a presentation to county council prior to the vote on July 6.

For more information, please contact:

Brad Watters, CUPE 4513 Vice-President, 519-200-8089

Darcie McEathron, CUPE National Representative, 519-709-4004

James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999