Monday, November 16, 2009

911 for the 911

It is not often that I feel the direct impact of a labour dispute.

But the current struggle between Ambulance drivers and paramedics and the B.C. Government has me a little worried.

It was only a few months ago that I dialled 911.

Within minutes, the whole gang was in my kitchen, and only a few minutes later, I was in a bed at VGH.

The response from these dedicated and knowledgeable workers was terrific.

Now, as they have been legislated back to work, they are running a series of work stoppages that has severely limited the number of vehicles and personnel on the road.

The public is being urged to call 911 only in the most dire emergencies.

The first thing that tells me is that in ordinary practice many people are calling for ambulance services when they should not.

If people are being told to visit a walk-in clinic or their local bones, they must be casually using 911 frivolously.

This is not something I had ever before considered, but why should I be surprised?


If anybody, any worker or group of workers is fighting with the B.C. Government about almost anything, my natural sympathies will lie immediately with the workers.

And so in this case, I support the paramedics pleas for a better contract. They do great, life-saving work and they should be appropriately compensated.

I just wish they could find a way to drive home their arguments without scaring the living beejazus outta me.