Rupture of ambulance services: a 2nd victim in Estrie

Rupture of ambulance services: a 2nd victim in Estrie

Breaks in ambulance service are not uncommon in Estrie, according to the Fraternity of Prehospital Workers of Quebec.

A second person died in a few weeks while a breakdown in ambulance service was raging in the Estrie region.

After Coaticook in mid-August, where an octogenarian died, after waiting for an ambulance, now& #x27;a Cowansville man is believed to have died in similar circumstances in the past few days.

According to the president of the Brotherhood of Prehospital Workers of Quebec, Jean Papineau, an ambulance was missing on the territory of Granby from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on August 21. I can speak with knowledge because I was finishing my night shift. That morning there is an ambulance that was not present. There was a break in service. There was a shift that only started at 9:30 a.m., he said.

Unfortunately, seven emergency calls were made during this period, according to Mr. Papineau. Outside ambulances had to be called in, but this caused delays in responding to a person from Cowansville who was in cardiac distress. The man eventually died.

“For us, it's clear that it's really understaffed. Since 2016, I have been working with François Bonnardel to change the game for Granby. For 20 years, we have had the same number of ambulances. This is nonsense for a population that has practically doubled. »

— Jean Papineau, President of the Brotherhood of Prehospital Workers of Quebec

The situation is far from isolated according to him.

“Since Christmas, there have been several service interruptions each week, night and day, in my sector, in Granby. »

— Jean Papineau, President of the Brotherhood of Prehospital Workers of Quebec

For the President, the government must act to improve not only working conditions of these workers, but also to improve the attractiveness of the profession. The pandemic has not helped the profession. People are tired. I've been doing this job for 20 years and I've never seen my network in such bad shape. Young people are quitting their jobs and older people are retiring. We come together with a labor shortage.

The latter reminds us that 40% of ambulance workers are on strike in Quebec. There is really something to be done to improve the conditions for paramedics. We are in a very dangerous zone where there is a point of no return. Coaticook, Granby, it's not unique. There are many like that, says Mr. Papineau.

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