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Ontario Establishes Committee To Address Unique Health And Safety Risks Faced By Paramedics

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says it is establishing a Paramedic Services Committee under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to develop resources that address the unique health and safety risks they face.

“In every community, paramedics are on the front lines each and every day saving lives,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “These everyday heroes work tirelessly to bring us the medical attention we need, and in return, they deserve to get home safe too. I look forward to working with the newly established committee to ensure our paramedics receive the support they need.”

The announcement comes after a 23-year-old Peterborough man was charged with punching a paramedic and two police officers in an incident on Sunday.

At approximately 11:50pm on February 26 officers were called to a disturbance at a residence in the Brock Street and Aylmer Street area.  Upon arrival, officers learned that the suspect was acting aggressively toward others and had punched a paramedic attempting to help.  Officers say when they attempted to speak to the man he punched an officer in the face and struck a second officer.  Police say officers were able to control the man before he was taken to Peterborough Regional Health Centre for treatment.

Police say they seized approximately 10 grams of Psilocybin.

As a result of the investigation, a 23-year-old Peterborough man was arrested and charged with:

  • Assault
  • Assault a peace officer X2
  • Fail to comply with probation
  • Possession of a Schedule III Substance – Psilocybin

The accused is currently bound by a probation order with the following conditions to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

OHSA committees, formed under Section 21 of the Act, are comprised of both employer and labour representatives, who provide the Minister with technical expertise and sector-specific advice on health and safety issues, including recommending regulatory changes and actions on emerging issues.

“Ontario’s paramedics have been valuable partners to our government in building a more convenient and connected health care system,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones. “Many go above and beyond to be there for Ontarians and as we continue to work together to deliver care across the province, this new committee will ensure our paramedics have the support and protection they deserve.”

Paramedics respond to over 1.6 million calls every year. They face risks that are separate and distinct from those of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who typically don’t engage with their patients outside of their hospital, facility or office explains the government.

“On behalf of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario (CACO) and the paramedics we represent, we are pleased with the announcement today regarding the new Paramedic Services Section 21 Committee,” said Ian Nash, CACO Health and Safety Representative. “The paramedic unions (CUPE, SEIU, OPSEU & Unifor), OAPC and various stakeholders met for the first time in May 2008, and since that day the committee has been very professional with dealing with the health and safety issues arising affecting our profession and developing guidance notes, and will continue this practise for years to come.”

The new paramedic services committee will complement the existing first responder committees for fire and police services while providing a focused channel for recommendations from experts, employers, and workers.

“Today’s announcement of the creation a Paramedic Section 21 Committee demonstrates the commitment by our government to protect the health and safety of paramedics in Ontario,” said Chief Michael Sanderson, President of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs (OAPC). “The OAPC has advocated, with its partners from all unions, to establish this committee and we thank Minister McNaughton for his support in moving to this new forma


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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