For Immediate Release:

Thursday, July 22, 2021

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Once again, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) is raising the alarm regarding the working conditions of paramedics in this province.

“Our paramedic members have been telling us for months that they are absolutely on the brink of exhaustion and breaking down both mentally and physically,” said NAPE President Jerry Earle. “Call volumes are increasing, red alerts are an all too common occurrence, shifts are often extended due to lack of staffing, leave is being denied, and more and more workers are suffering mental and physical injuries as a result.”

“In January, paramedics in the St. John’s area held a protest to speak out about these issues and we were promised immediate action by the Premier and the Minister of Health,” said Earle. “Here we are, seven months later, once again talking about the exact same issues with little to no progress made. It’s just not good enough. The government and health authorities are letting these workers down – with tragic results.”

“I honestly don’t know how much longer these workers can keep it up; and they shouldn’t have to in the first place,” said Earle.

“While the focus has been on the St. John’s metro region, I can tell you that I get calls and messages from disheartened, frustrated, and exhausted paramedics from across the province on an almost daily basis,” said Earle. “This is a provincial issue that requires a comprehensive and coordinated system-wide strategy.”

“When every second counts, these workers are the first on the scene to assess, treat, care and transport. Every day these dedicated first responders are there for us in our time of need,” said Earle. “Now, we need our elected officials and health authorities to be there for them.”

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