October 19, 2017

** Newfoundland and Labrador considering starting community paramedic program

** Memphis medics in Tennessee unlikely to see wages rise for some time

CANADA NEWS

** Newfoundland and Labrador are apparently considering creating a community paramedic program. That is the word from CBC (Stephanie Kinsella/May 23) which quoted Health Minister John Haggie as saying such programs have been very successful in other provinces. Haggie said he is pondering the idea given stats like those in Gander which show 50 per cent of EMS calls are at nursing homes. Haggie said of those calls some 80 per cent could be attended to by community paramedics without the senior having to be transported to hospital. The specifics of the program are currently being worked out with the province’s paramedic licencing body. Local communities also have to come on-board.

UNITED STATES NEWS

** Tennessee paramedics in Memphis likely won’t be getting an increase in wages during this year’s round of contract negotiations. That is the word from LocalMemphis.com (Mike Matthews/May 22) which quoted fire union president Thomas Malone as saying it looks like the latest four year contract will offer increases of 0 per cent across the board. Malone said his EMS and fire members are being treated unfairly by the city. This is despite the public lauding politicians do regarding emergency services workers. He said the low wages for prehospital providers mean medics accept the training from the service and then leave for higher paying jobs elsewhere. A spokesman for Mayor Jim Strickland denied any decisions about raises had been made. The unidentified talking head said council members are considering whether or not to give all city workers a 1 per cent pay hike.

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