North Bay, ON – Ambulance service in West Nipissing will stay a public service thanks to a successful community campaign waged by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and a unanimous vote by the District of Nipissing’s Social Service Administration Board (DNSSAB).
“This is a resounding success for our community,” says Denis Allard, Vice-President of CUPE 1101 and a paramedic himself. “Our campaign generated a huge amount of pressure, and the Board got the message to keep our emergency medical services public.”
The private company, Medivie, lost its bid to the North Bay General Hospital, which will take over ambulance service in West Nipissing on January 1, 2010, keeping the service publicly delivered. The DNSSAB’s voted unanimously in favour of North Bay General’s bid at its board meeting yesterday.
Allard noted that the details were yet to be worked out, including keeping an ambulance hub in West Nipissing and the question of 24-hour coverage. Currently, West Nipissing has only 20 hours of service coverage, with paramedics on call from 3:30 to 7:30 AM.
“We’ll be watching to see what happens to service levels and what happens to the paramedics,” Allard said. “In the meantime, we will celebrate this victory for the people and the taxpayers of West Nipissing. We have maintained public ambulance service and we’ve kept the profiteers at bay – for now.”
Denis Allard, Vice-President, CUPE 1101 705 358 3110
David Robbins, CUPE Communications 613 878 1431