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
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 3/9/2014 5:55:36 PM
Source: Dori Modney -- Country 95 News