CUPE Representative Contends Town Of Taber Wants To Cut Ambulance Service: B93.3 FM : Lethbridge's #1 Hit Music Station : Lethbridge News, Alberta
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CUPE Representative Contends Town Of Taber Wants To Cut Ambulance Service

TABER:   Taber emergency medical service personnel are fighting to keep control of their own ambulance service in the town.  According to a Canadian Union of Public Employee representative, there's concern that a move to part time service will impact response times.

Tim Kinahan explains, "Right now, there is always one ambulance at the Fire Hall with two members ready to respond to an emergency any time of day.". He says, "Town officials want staff to go to a 16-hour manned station, with 8-hours of on-call, where staff wouldn't be required to be at the fire hall to answer emergencies".   Kinanhan says they're hearing the time slot would be from 11:00-pm until 7:00-am.  It means that emergency personnel who live in town can return to their residences over-night and don't have to be at the Fire Hall.  Out-of-Town staff members would have to remain at the Fire Hall at night.

Kinahan is concerned that having emergency personnel return home at night, will add to emergency response time, since after hours they would have to travel to the Fire Hall before commencing an Emergency call. He says, "The response time would probably increase from the current 90-seconds to about five to seven minutes".

Kinahan says emergency personnel see it as a decrease in the level of service.  He says the Town has cotinued to propose the reduction in service levels despite being presented with multiple alternativews that would maintain the current 24-hour staffed service.  

Negotiations between the Town and CUPE have broken down and a mediator is being called in. Kinanhan suspects the Town wants the province to take over the service but is placing the onus of that decision on the union.

Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 4/17/2014 5:55:36 PM
Source: Dori Modney -- Country 95 News
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