The president of the union local representing more than 90 paramedics in the Cochrane District welcomes a new committee set up by the province, dealing with his members’ occupational health and safety.
Ted Stein is president of CUPE Local 1484. He says paramedic representatives on the committee will provide input on violence and contact with hazardous substances and environments on ambulance calls. Most important to be addressed at the government level, he says, is mental health issues caused by people and situations.
“Data shows that paramedics have a higher exposure and instance of PTSD than combat soldiers, which is fairly disconcerting” Stein remarks, “because much like the military forums, there’s no support.”
Still, Stein says he’s celebrating the progress the formation of the committee represents.
He adds that one achievement will be better public awareness of the dangers – physical and emotional – his members face on the job.
“Because we know that police officers inherently do dangerous work. We know that firefighters inherently do dangerous work. Paramedics, not so much.”