Paramedics Raise Safety Concerns from Extra Long Shifts

After a Tuesday accident, Manitoba paramedics are calling for mandatory rest periods after extra long shifts to protect the safety of paramedics, patients and the public.

Around 6:45am Tuesday, an ambulance rolled into a ditch east of Neepawa on Highway 16. The paramedic who was driving had fallen asleep. There was no patient on board and the two paramedics in the ambulance escaped injury. Read more about the accident in the Brandon Sun.

The paramedics involved had been fatigued by several days of very long shifts and numerous emergency calls during their standby periods. Wayne Chacun of the paramedics' union, the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU), says such stories of weary paramedics are all too common. MGEU is calling on the province to pass rules requiring mandatory rest periods for paramedics and to hire more pramedics so releive pressure on paramedics to work without adequate rest. 

The paramedics' call for action to protect worker, patient and public safety was reiterated this morning on CJOB: "We have been calling on the Manitoba government to impose legislation that would limit paramedics to no more than 16 hours of work in a 24 hour period. We feel they need to then have 8 hours of uninterrupted rest to be ready for their next shift." 

 

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