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Opposition raises concerns over new emergency medical responders

By Evan Taylor Jan 10, 2024 | 4:01 PM

Paul Townley

Nova Scotia’s Liberal Party doesn’t view the recent announcement from the Department of Health and Wellness to train 200 emergency medical responders who will alongside paramedics as a step in the right direction.

“This move shows the government isn’t listening to paramedics who have let the government know they don’t agree with this plan and feel it will further harm their ability to do their jobs,” said Liberal leader Zach Churchill in an interview.

Once trained the plan is for the new emergency medical responders to share an ambulance with a certified paramedic, however, Churchill says currently all ambulances have two trained paramedics.

The emergency medical responder program which is new, is not as extensive as paramedic training, and their role will be limited to assessing, stabilizing, and transporting patients to hospitals.

“If you look at the original announcement from the Health Department on their social media pages, you’ll see countless paramedics telling the government this plan won’t work and is out of touch with reality,” said Churchill.




The Department of Health responded to some of the concerns voiced on their social media page including on the level of training – “Emergency medical responders in Nova Scotia will be the most trained in Canada. Training in other provinces varies from as little as 40 hours to several weeks. At three months, we will have the most extensive training program. They will also be licensed and regulated by the College of Paramedics Nova Scotia and, they will need to pass a national exam administered by the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators before they can work in Nova Scotia.”

Despite the concerns the province has given no indication of second thoughts on the program.

Training of the first wave of emergency medical responders will be administerd by Medavie HealthEd starting in March, with the first graduating class working by summer.