The Paramedics serving Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry have begun legal strike action as of 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 17.
As a result, fewer ambulances and paramedics will be maintaining emergency service coverage.
Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services asks that only those patients with urgent and emergent health issues call for an ambulance.
During the day, three ambulances staffed by union employees will respond to urgent and emergent calls. Overnight, two union-staffed ambulances will be available. This is a reduction from the normal compliment of nine ambulances during the day and six at night. This arrangement is consistent with the Essential Services Agreement.
Please call 911 for ambulance assistance if it is needed for severe emergencies such as shortness of breath, chest pain, major traumatic injury or unconsciousness.
Alternatives to calling 911 include taking a personal vehicle or taxi to the hospital, calling Telehealth Ontario toll-free at 1-866-797-0000, visiting a pharmacy, clinic, or doctor.
“We have reached out to our partners, including area hospitals, fire services, police and taxi companies to ask for their assistance in responding to non-emergency calls during the strike,” said Bill Lister, Chief of Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services. “We hope this will allow us to focus on emergency calls only.”
During strike action, no routine transfers will take place. In the event of a major emergency, striking paramedics will be called onto the job.