Improving Safety and Reducing Health Costs

Mar 15, 2012

Michael Nolan, President of the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) has a day job that is devoted to responding to the needs of his community in Renfrew County, Ontario. When not on that job, he is buried in dealing with the issues facing the EMS professionals across the country.

Part of Mike's EMSCC job is to coordinate activities with the other Tri-Services Chiefs Associations to make sure that when issues that impact all first responders arise like the 700 MHz Spectrum issue that recently concluded in favour of first responders gets the attention and support required from the EMS chiefs across Canada. Another of Mike's major roles is to make sure that when there are issues that cross the jurisdictional border and need to be considered at a federal level, these issues are presented cogently and with the conviction that comes from a group of professionals dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve. Last fall, the EMSCC arrived in Ottawa with a list of 5 issues that required the immediate attention of the federal government. In a series of 80 meetings with federal officials, the following issues were presented:

  1. The federal government should make automated external defibrillators mandatory in all public buildings.
  2. Wireless carriers should be required to meet standard criteria for providing cell phone user location services to Emergency Responders when calling 911.
  3. The current nurse practitioner and physician debt forgiveness plan should include Advanced-Care Paramedics recruited to rural and remote areas of Canada.
  4. The federal government should study the Community Paramedic Model as a way to reduce the burden of chronic disease and depressurize the overwhelmed primary care health system in Canada.
  5. The federal government must introduce a common national standard of Paramedic care in Canada.

An overarching theme shared with government was that Paramedics are the first line of defense for Canadians in emergencies, disasters and pandemics, and are a reliable and constant force in communities across the country - from remote and rural areas to the largest cities, and serve on the front line of every community across the country - providing essential health care to Canadians when they need it the most. 

© FrontLine Security 2012