Fire departments fear changes to training will deter volunteer medical responders
They’re often times the first on the scene of a medical emergency in parts of rural Manitoba.
Emergency medical responders help treat patients in areas where ambulances have to drive longer distances to get to a call.
But proposed changes to the training required to volunteer have some municipalities concerned about the future of the service.
“By enhancing the skill level of medical first responder (MFR) departments you’re essentially killing them so nothing’s been gained but a great deal has been lost,” said Glenn Reimer, the manager of Headingley’s MFR department and a longtime emergency medical responder himself. “The interventions that we would provide, awaiting the ambulance, are in many cases lifesaving.”
Headingley has 15 emergency medical responders and is one of 13 municipalities across Manitoba with a medical first responder department. While there is a small amount of pay, it’s a job people volunteer for in service of their community, Reimer said.
But now Reimer worries the service may be in jeopardy due to proposed changes to the number of training hours required to become a volunteer.
The changes are being proposed by the College of Paramedics of Manitoba which now regulates the profession across the province.
It wants to increase the number of training hours required from the current 120 hours to 360 hours which many rural fire departments fear would make it more difficult to find new recruits.
“So they’re looking at tripling the hours, basically, and that would mean recruitment would be next to impossible to recruit volunteers for that type of position,” said Nick Young, the fire chief in Miniota, Man.
Municipal officials passed a resolution at this week’s Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention calling on the province and the college to reconsider the changes. The college said, while it understands the concerns of municipalities, the current curriculum hasn’t been updated in six years and since then the scope of practice has grown significantly for emergency medical responders.
“We believe that our protection of the public interest and providing high quality emergency response care to the citizens of Manitoba that this will improve the care that is currently being delivered,” said Trish Bergal, executive director and registrar of The College of Paramedics of Manitoba.
The delivery of certain medications is one example of an area where more education is required, Bergal said.
She said the college wants to make sure volunteers feel confident in their training when responding to emergencies.
In addition to more hours, the cost of the training is also expected to increase, however, some municipalities say they cover the cost for volunteers.
Reimer said emergency medical responders (EMRs) can already voluntarily upgrade their training. He said forcing them to do so may be seen as a barrier to potential volunteers.
“It’s just asking too much because these people all work full-time, are raising families and they have to fit this training in outside of their regular lifetime responsibilities,” Reimer said.
The college said, under the proposed changes, existing EMRs wouldn’t have to complete the new requirements but it’s the impact on finding new volunteers that has Reimer worried about the future of his department.
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Trudeau decries 'fringe' views of some in trucker convoy, as police prepare for its arrival in Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is decrying the 'fringe' views among some of those who are supporting the trucker convoy making its way to Parliament Hill to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other policies they feel infringe on their freedoms.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday the extension of Operation UNIFIER for three years, and the deployment of 60 more troops to Ukraine in the coming days.
CTV News in Ukraine | 'If I'm called, I will go': Ukrainian reservist and former Voice contestant ready to fight Russian threat
CTV's Omar Sachedina speaks to a Ukrainian reservist and former contestant on Ukraine's version of 'The Voice' about the looming threat of war with Russia.
Crushing poverty is forcing displaced people in Afghanistan to make some very desperate choices, including selling organs or even their own girls into marriage to adult men.
'So many angry people': Experts say online conversation around trucker convoy veering into dangerous territory
As a growing group of truckers and supporters make their way to Ottawa in a protest against vaccine mandates, experts say the rhetoric online concerning the convoy is getting increasingly worrisome.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it has detected more than 50 cases of a new Omicron subvariant known as BA.2. The subvariant is widely considered 'stealthier' than the original version of Omicron because some of its genetic traits make it harder to detect.
Homicide investigators have been called to a Richmond, B.C., duplex after a shooting that left four people dead.
Police say a series of stabbings in the downtown core last month have been determined to be hate-motivated and targeting vulnerable Calgarians.
Mounties say autopsies have begun as they try to identify the four people who were found dead in a frigid Manitoba blizzard near the United States border.
Saskatchewan’s premier is hinting some COVID-19 restrictions could soon be lifted, saying current measures may have run their course.
Whether its memories of attending them, or the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools, many people have been mentally strained by the former schools.
Sylvester Ukabam, a former Regina doctor accused of sexually assaulting five female patients, continued to deny allegations made against him from the witness stand on Wednesday morning.
Nathaniel Carrier has pleaded guilty to first degree murder in connection to the death of his son and second degree murder in connection to the deaths of his parents.
Saskatchewan reported 1,194 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, along with six more deaths, however active cases are down again.
A popular Riversdale restaurant says it's putting a "pause" on its operations.
While the region is not out of the woods with regard to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Algoma's medical officer of health says there is reason for optimism.
In the next few months, the Timmins Youth Wellness Hub will be getting ready to open up its new permanent location.
Defending Canada’s skies can be a daunting and stressful task. Mix in a global pandemic and there’s even more pressure on the men and women stationed at 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base.
Tuesday’s report of 1,377 COVID-19 patients in hospital was revised to a pandemic-high 1,443 on Wednesday.
A junior hockey player in Stony Plain, Alta., has been suspended for eight games after he went into the stands to fight a fan, but his coach says he was defending his mom at the time.
Two events in as many weeks in which Alberta corrections officers fired their weapons is evidence staffing shortages are endangering inmates and staff alike, say sources connected to the prison.
A family is breathing a sigh of relief after a terrifying fire at an apartment in Etobicoke forced a mother to break a second-floor window to save her 10-month-old daughter.
An Ontario woman who says she was offered a free doorbell by a salesperson said she wishes she didn't then sign a 15-year contract for a furnace that will cost her $12,748.
Drivers are being warned to expect significant traffic delays on major highways from Thursday to Saturday as the 'Freedom Convoy' of truckers enters Ontario.
'People are fed up': convoy of trucks converges on Ottawa as police prepare for thousands on Parliament Hill
A convoy of hundreds of fed-up Canadian truckers are driving cross-country, heading for the nation’s capital to deliver a message that's raising millions of dollars from donors around the world.
Work is underway converting a vacant Seventh Avenue Calgary office tower into 82 units of affordable and specialized housing.
Calgary police is seeking public assistant to identify a suspect in a bank robbery that took place in northwest Calgary last Thursday.
Three COVID-19 patients who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated have received double lung transplants at a Montreal hospital after their lungs were irreversibly damaged by the disease. One patient was a 49-year-old mother of five.
Since the start of the pandemic, Quebec has issued tickets totaling more than $45 million for public health violations, but only a fraction of them have actually been paid so far, according to data provided to CTV News.
'A terrifying experience’: Montreal mother shares ordeal as ICU sees increase of children admitted with COVID-19 in fifth wave
The medical director at the PICU in the Montreal Children’s Hospital says it is seeing more children get sick with COVID and be sick enough to come to the ICU.
Officials are urging people to avoid downtown Ottawa this weekend with a cross-country ‘Freedom Convoy’ of truckers expected to arrive at Parliament Hill.
"They keep telling us the risk is low but it's been mostly based on the fact that the ground is frozen," said Agnes Warda with the Glens Community Association.
Ottawa's top doctor says Ottawa Public Health will not wait for schools to report absenteeism rates above 30 per cent before investigating a possible COVID-19 outbreak in schools.
Premier Tim Houston said Nova Scotia is extending its current provincewide COVID-19 public health restrictions until Feb. 14 in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
An area of low pressure originating off the coastline of Florida will merge with a cold front on Friday. The resulting storm will rapidly strengthen into a nor’easter, which will move north to impact the Maritimes Saturday into Sunday.
The Halifax Regional Police are on the scene of a sudden death at a hotel in the city.
All Region of Waterloo vaccination clinics will offer walk-ins for all eligible residents, starting Jan. 31.
Officials reported four new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with a dip in hospitalizations.
'There are some calls that stick with you': A dramatic increase in mental health disability claims amongst first responders
First responders, like paramedics, firefighters, and police officers say they often deal with mental health challenges.
Twenty-one more COVID-19 related deaths were reported in B.C. on Wednesday, the highest single-day total the province has added to its death toll since December 2020.
The B.C. government is under pressure to reconsider a change that means some people on disability are getting less money – despite the government's vow to support them through the pandemic.
The pandemic has taken a toll on many people’s mental health, but the impacts have been especially devastating for youths in and out of foster care.
Five deaths related to COVID-19 were confirmed in the Vancouver Island region Wednesday, according to the B.C. Ministry of Health.
British Columbia's forest watchdog has identified four key areas where the management of forestry practices can negatively affect water and outlines potential opportunities for the province to improve regulations.
The British Columbia government says it will distribute up to 250,000 rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to provincially funded child-care providers.