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June 12, 2000, Port Coquitlam, BCAt 0911 on Monday morning, June 12 the Ambulance Paramedics of BC (CUPE Local 873) will bring their Fighting for Life Campaign to Minister of Health, Mike Farnworths office in Port Coquitlam at 2567 Shaughnessy Street.

The message in this visit to the Health Minister, said John Strohmaier, President of CUPE Local 873, is that the crisis in front line emergency medical services in this province needs to be remediednow.

Mike Farnworth is the fourth Minister of Health to be faced with demands to restore the ambulance service to the former efficient and accessible service that made it world renowned.

Unfortunately, says Strohmaier, Downsizing and understaffing are the current hallmark of the Ambulance Service of BC.

The provincial government can list off figures that compare budgets today from a few years ago but the fact is two reports commissioned by this very government have called for the same things we are calling for todayimproved resourcing of the service directed at both urban and rural staffing stability.

Following the stop at Farnworths office, the tour will proceed to the Maple Ridge Hospital dropping off post cards aimed at the Premier and the leader of the opposition. The community of Maple Ridge was the scene of a tragic accident in 1997 that the paramedics say could have been avoided.

Further stops in Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack are planned for Monday. The Fighting for Life tour will continue through BC until June 26.

Louise Leclair
communications representative
(604) 454-4711
Stuart Myers
CUPE Local 873
(604) 313-7571

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