** US paramedic killed while on OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine
** Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics considering industrial action over heavy workloads
UNITED STATES NEWS
** An American paramedic working in the Ukraine has died after being blown up by a land mine. That is the word from Sky News (April 24) which said the Sunday incident occurred in the rebel held Luhansk region. According to the newspaper, the medic was working as a monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The US State Department has apparently appealed to Russia to speak with separatists to gain more information on the incident. It has also called for a full investigation into the matter. News reports quoting area police spokesman Alexander Mazeikin said the medic’s vehicle had veered off the road and hit the anti tank mine. Critics say, however, the accident was instigated by Russia to deter future monitoring missions. By Tuesday, the identity of the medic had not yet been released.
UNITED KINGDOM NEWS
** Beseiged Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics are apparently considering work-to-rule action to protest mounting workloads. The Herald Scotland (Helen McArdle/April 24) said the action, would could include overtime bans, is aimed at drawing attention to the service’s inadequate resources. GMB national union secretary John Marr said medics are at a breaking point. Marr said it is common for practitioners to work 12 hour shifts with only one 20 minute break. The news of potential industrial action comes at a time when the government has announced a 6.3 million pound infusion for the service. The money will go towards recruiting, community paramedic initiatives, upgrading existing EMS training, and programs aimed at reducing hospital admission numbers.