Increased Public Safety and Paramedic Violence
Re: Increased Public Safety and Paramedic Violence
The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for our paramedics, first responders and our public safety family. We saw the LODD death of Alberta Paramedic Dallas Boyko and five LODD deaths in Canada of Police Officers, including one close to home with the senseless loss of Burnaby RCMP Constable Shaelyn Yang. We lost one of our own members to PTSD, shots were fired at the Trail ambulance station and now we hear that a MSU ambulance has been torched with several RCMP vehicles in Smithers BC.
There is currently an alarming trend of violence towards health care professionals and uniformed personnel in Canada including paramedics. The APBC Provincial Safety Director with the support of your Provincial Executive Board is reviewing and investigating all violence toward paramedics.
Violence can be a very complex issue that is systemically underreported by paramedics in this province, and all over Canada. Paramedic Chiefs of Canada reported on a 2014 study of Canadian Paramedics, 75% of paramedics reported experiencing violence on the job, with 74% reporting multiple forms of violence. These numbers have only sharply escalated in the past years; more so as residents of BC suffer the effects of the global pandemic in our society.
It’s critical that all paramedics in BC be vigilant to their safety and look out for one another. Our paramedics respond to every known situation one can encounter, and it’s imperative that we continually monitor our risk to violence before we walk into any call. Our safety comes first, remember that. “Workplace violence, not in my job description!” Under WSBC regulation (3.12) it is your right and responsibility to refuse unsafe work.
If you require assistance navigating any area of safety, please don’t hesitate to contact your RVP, DOSH Representative, or your Provincial Safety Director.
We also have an amazing CISM program that we highly encourage you to utilize if you need support.
Troy Clifford Corey Froese
Provincial President Provincial Safety Director
Ambulance Paramedics of BC Ambulance Paramedics of BC
CUPE Local 873 CUPE Local 873