City puts off decision on designating EMS essential

Paramedics helped save the life of Giorgio Mammoliti‘s daughter even before she was born, proving how essential Toronto Emergency Medical Services is, the Ward 7 councillor says.

“My daughter would never have been born if it weren’t for the preliminary assessment when [EMS staff] got to my house two months earlier,” Mammoliti said Tuesday at city hall. “Complications — they knew exactly what it was when they came to my house. The police would not have known and the fire department would not have known.”

The city’s executive committee held off making EMS an essential service until a staff report detailing the projected pros and cons of the decision is completed. Making EMS essential — as are police, fire and TTC — would exempt it from future work stoppages.

Ward 3 councillor Doug Holyday argued against designating EMS essential, saying the move would be too costly for Toronto’s taxpayers. Councillors need more information before making a final decision, he said.

“This information is not in front of us today,” Holyday said, adding the timing of Tuesday’s motion “couldn’t be worse.”

A potential work stoppage — either a strike or a lockout — faces the city as early as Feb. 5. The city is seeking new collective agreements with its inside and outside workers, Canadian Union of Public Employees locals 79 and 416 respectively.

“What I see now is this is stalled till after the lockout,” said EMS employee Jerry Dobson. “Are we happy? Not at all. I’m a support staff worker and this is going to put me out on strike or in the lockout for six months.”

Earlier this month, the Ontario Labour Relations Board set EMS staffing levels at 85 per cent in the event of a work stoppage.

Having only a portion of the city’s emergency staff working would be “the most dangerous situation,” Mammoliti said. The city should keep them on the job, he said, “for the safety of the residents of Toronto.”

About this article

By: Shantal Otchere
Posted: Jan 25 2012 5:19 pm
Filed under: News

1 Comment on "City puts off decision on designating EMS essential"

  1. I have witnessed the agony that pedestrians and drivers have gone through ever since the St. Clair Street Car Tracks and roads were revitalized.

    I am sure that you are aware of the high rate of car/pedestrians/cyclists accidents anywhere where there are STREET CARS.
    A Bus Driver would stop when a pedestrian is under the bus, a Sreet Car Driver is not aware that there is a person trapped under the street car.

    Please Publish the Accidents for pedestrians and cyclists all along Street Cars for the last 3 years. We need to send a strong message to City Hall, something has to be done, either more CROSS LIGHTS that pedestrians can use by pressing the STOP BUTTON, or some kind of Protection around the Street Car Tracks.

    It is a fact people will keep crossing the streets in the middle of the road, they will not walk to the traffic lights, it was done in the past, present and will continue in the future. The difference is that Street Car Drivers have a Blind Spot and the Front of the Street Car is much higher than the Buses. After all this design was done before Toronto had so many drivers on the road. We have kept the same all design, not only that but Toronto is the only city in the West that allowed to have the Street Car in the Middle of the Road, cars on the right and the left, pedestrians approach the street car from behind, front, right and left sides, even if there is a Stop Light, even if there are cars passing by.

    City needs to create fences, or green areas around the tracks of the street car, otherwise We Will Continue to Witness More and More Pedestrian/Cars/Cyclists accidents, wherever Street Cars are present.

    Too costly to change the design of these trains, too costly to put islands on the road, What are the choices????

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