May 01, 2012 at 12:35 PM
May 1, 2012
AMBULANCE PARAMEDICS APPLAUD GOVERNMENT FOR PROTECTING FIRST RESPONDERS
VANCOUVER, BC – The Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia (APBC) applaud the Government of British Columbia for tabling the Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act in the legislature yesterday.
“We applaud the Government of B.C. for taking this step to protect the health and peace of mind of our members, the ambulance paramedics, as well as our colleagues in the police and fire departments across B.C.,” said Bronwyn Barter, APBC’s President. “Our members are proud to often be the first on scene to act quickly to make sure British Columbians’ health needs are met. This legislation demonstrates government putting workers' safety first.”
The Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act will:
- Enable emergency workers and Good Samaritans to get a court order to require individuals to give a bodily fluid sample, if one is not given voluntarily.
- Protect privacy by assuring information is shared in confidence only.
- Set penalties for non-compliance of testing orders and privacy provisions.
- Establish a presumption of disease exposure for first responders seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
It has been a joint initiative of all public safety workers – ambulance paramedics, police and fire departments.
“We want to specifically recognize MLA Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country) for his leadership on this important issue,” said Barter. “Our paramedics and partners in police and fire are routinely exposed to needle-stick injuries or blood splashes. Not being able to find out in a timely manner whether or not you’ve been exposed to a blood-borne illness can cause a great deal of stress. We have the right to know.”
Provincial Recording Secretary
Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia
604 815-7689 mobile