Fire Fighting in Canada

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Paramedics launch campaign to counter fire promo

Sept. 21, 2011, Ottawa - Ontario paramedics launched a campaign today to counter misinformation surrounding which emergency service is best equipped to respond to medical calls.

September 21, 2011
By Ontario Paramedic Association

"Municipalities across Ontario are looking for ways to reduce expenditures and one of the biggest items for most local governments is fire service, so their union designed an aggressive public relations push to protect themselves from cuts," said Greg Furling, president of the Ontario Paramedic Association. "They're asking municipalities to send firefighters to medical emergencies saying it will save lives. Unfortunately, that's just not the case."

More than 90 per cent of medical emergency calls go beyond the basic first-aid and CPR skills that firefighters have. Only a doctor, an advanced healthcare professional or a paramedic can insert a breathing tube, administer medications or set up an intravenous.

"It's time the people and politicians had all the facts," said Furlong. "We plan to dispel all the misinformation and give the people of Ontario the chance to tell candidates in the provincial election how important paramedics are to the health care system."

The Ontario Paramedic Association wants people to visit www.sendthepros.ca, learn about the education and skill required to treat medical emergencies, and to send an electronic postcard to provincial candidates in their riding.

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"Our message to politicians is quite simple," concluded Furlong. "Don't be fooled. Save lives. Send the professionals to a medical emergency. Send paramedics."