Smitherman calls for more amalgamation: merger of fire department, paramedics
If merging Scarborough and Etobicoke was the kind of thing that only a hard-headed provincial politician could do, maybe this is the next chapter: George Smitherman wants to merge Toronto’s fire and EMS services to reduce response times. The Globe and Mail reports:
“The average response time for ambulances has grown to be more than 12 minutes,” Mr. Smitherman told reporters outside a downtown EMS station. “In most cases fire trucks are on the scene in less than six minutes. Those six minutes are a precious opportunity to save lives.”
Mr. Smitherman said he would strike a task force to sort out the particulars, including whether the combined service should report to a single chief or put paramedics and firefighters in the same vehicle – something he’s leaning against at the moment.
Smitherman also says that a successful merger would require making EMS an essential service and removing its right to strike; amazingly, not-so-furious George has found the one profession in Toronto that actually wants to lose that right. (Both unions are opposed to an actual merger, though.)
The Post adds, helpfully, that at his press conference, Smitherman was wearing a blue tie to support Greece in the World Cup yesterday. Whoops.
• Smitherman would blend paramedic, firefighting services [Globe and Mail]
• Merge fire and emergency services: Smitherman [Toronto Sun]
• Smitherman envisions combined fire, emergency service [CBCNews.ca]
• Smitherman: Firefighters should swallow EMS [National Post]
• George Smitherman proposes combining fire and EMS [Toronto Star]
Image: fire truck, Loozrboy; ambulance, Julie, Dave & Family
2 thoughts on “Smitherman calls for more amalgamation: merger of fire department, paramedics”
This is actually pretty standard practice in many places and an excellent idea.
Maybe the city of Toronto should put more ambulances on the road then the response times would definately drop and the firefighters wouldn’t need to respond to an EMS call. The reason the fire trucks get there quicker is because they have no fires to fight. Firefighters work 24 hours shifts, how can one person work 24 hours and still be an asset????It’s because they are sleeping. Get rid of the 24 hr and stop paying them to sleep. EMS workers don’t sleep on the job because they have no time! I mean really!!!! Who is working harder here the EMS workers or the Firefighters.
Why doesn’t the city give all the facts before putting down EMS and give all the details of the extra money being paid out for unneccesary benefits the fire department gets.
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