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(Kenora) Concerned Paramedics throughout the Kenora-Patricia Region want residents and taxpayers to know that the District Services Board (DSB) is about to make a decision on the delivery of ambulance services that could have dire consequences for everyone concerned.

Thats why they are launching a public information campaign aimed at letting people know about the regional governments plans to possibly hand over ambulance services, region-wide, to a private, for profit company.

Paramedic Terry Biehn (Pron: Been) explains that, since the province has downloaded these services to municipal governments, they must make a decision on who will be delivering this vital part of our health care system by the end of the year.

Says Biehn, this is an opportunity for the DSB to follow the lead thats been set in the Region of Sudbury, Peterborough County, Durham Region, Niagara Region, York Region, Toronto, Ottawa and other regional governments and make sure Northwestern Ontarios ambulance services are part of a fully public system.

Public ambulance is not only the most accountable to the public, but study after study has shown it is the most cost-efficient as well, says Biehn.

Instead, he adds, theyre considering handing the service over to a private, for-profit company. We believe there is strong public support to make the system fully public. This could be done by having the regional government, one of the area hospitals or a group of hospitals

run it.

Concerned Paramedics will be delivering flyers to households in Kenora, Red Lake, Ear Falls and Sioux Lookout. They will also be running a radio and newspapers ad campaign using the message Seconds Save Lives!

They are urging residents to call their District Services Board members and tell them land ambulance services in Kenora-Patricia must be part of our public health care system.

For information:

Terry Biehn
(807) 467-8408
Andrew Tickner
Sioux Lookout
(807) 737-1801
Randy Boomhawer
Ear Falls
(807) 222-3496
Leslie Stecklie
Red Lake
(807) 727-3159

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