N.B. paramedics protest ambulance use in rural areas
Ambulance service to rural areas is at the top of the agenda at a meeting today of New Brunswick paramedics.
Around 50 paramedics rallied in front of Ambulance New Brunswick headquarters in Moncton this morning.
They say they are frustrated because emergency services are too often being sent out of rural areas to cover 911 calls in other locations, or to transfer patients between hospitals, which can leave smaller areas vulnerable if an emergency strikes.
"You show up for a shift in a community we want to work from and provide the 911 coverage in that community, and the way it's going right now is that deployment is robbing the rural areas for the urban centres," says paramedic Trent Piercey.
Ambulance New Brunswick has set benchmarks in place to respond to an urban emergency in nine minutes or less, and 22 minutes or less in a rural area. It says those benchmarks are achieved about 90 per cent of the time.