July 16, Posted in Uncategorized

You may have seen that we brought back our #CodeCritical campaign. For anyone interested and looking to learn more, we created this document! 

What is a #CodeCritical situation?

#CodeCritical applies when there are fewer than 2 paramedic crews in a given county. 

What are the causes of a #CodeCritical?

The four main causes of these situations are rural hospital closures, offload delays, call volume and staffing levels. 

Hospital Closures: Rural hospital closures force paramedics to travel further outside their communities to larger regional hospitals, meaning a crew is made unavailable for a longer period of time. 

Offload Delays: When a paramedic crew takes a patient to a hospital, they have to stay with the patient until hospital staff assume care. At times, this can be a long process and leave crews waiting for hours, unable to accept another call. 

Call Volume: The more calls there are, the more paramedic crews are needed. Many calls at once can mean most or all crews are busy – leaving few to none available at times in a given area. 

Staffing: When staffing levels aren’t adequate, fewer paramedics are on the road than are necessary for the volume of calls and transfers happening. That means:

  • Wait times are longer
  • Shifts are more likely to run into overtime
  • Paramedics are more likely to miss meals
  • Nova Scotians aren’t getting the level of care they deserve

Why do the #CodeCritical campaign?

It’s time that paramedics in this province are able to do their jobs without it coming at the expense of their physical, mental and emotional health. That includes ensuring they get the meal breaks they deserve, the time off they need and the peace of knowing that every Nova Scotian gets the help they need in a timely manner. 

At the heart of solving this is staffing. Did you know Premier McNeil stopped the sharing of EHS’ Annual Reports? This means that call volumes are not released – keeping us all in the dark on what our members’ workload ACTUALLY is. We know that call volume and workload has increased, but have staffing and other resources increased accordingly? We don’t think so – and without knowing the true call volume increase we can’t. 

This potential gap between the number of paramedics we currently have and the number we need for the existing workload creates an endless spiral of staffing issues. When paramedics face missed meals, shift overruns, abuse and stress at work they’re often left mentally, emotionally and physically unable to accept extra shifts. This means more shifts go unfilled. 

This is unacceptable. It’s time for EHS and EMC to be held accountable, and for our members and all Nova Scotians to come first – not profit or political favours. Until we know the real call volume increase, we cannot properly and effectively advocate on our members’ behalf. That puts them, and all Nova Scotians, at a disadvantage. 

How can Nova Scotians support the campaign?

Nova Scotians can contribute to the success of the campaign by liking and sharing campaign posts and voicing their concerns to their elected officials. Join with us, Nova Scotia!