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Liberal Bill Would Support Volunteer Firefighters

Mar 23, 2024

With emergency healthcare services in dire straits across the province and especially in the Annapolis riding, local MLA Carman Kerr will table a bill to support volunteer firefighters by covering their medical first responder training.

With chronic ambulance shortages and ER closures in the Western zone, paramedics are often dispatched to other areas of the province. Volunteer firefighters are often first to arrive on the scene and provide a level of care above and beyond their scope. Today’s bill would recognize the incredible work volunteer fire crews do by covering the cost of their medical training, which can cost upwards of $500.

“Volunteer fire crews have stepped up in a big way to provide emergency care for Nova Scotians in terrible circumstances,” said Kerr. “These volunteers often miss work and pay out of pocket for their medical training. We are asking the government to cover the cost of this training to acknowledge the dedication of our volunteer fire crews.”

Recent data from the Nova Scotia Paramedics Union revealed that the province has only gained one net new paramedic in the past year. Until serious action is taken to address the emergency healthcare crisis in Nova Scotia, volunteer fire crews will be under more stress.

“Since the Houston government took office, ambulance offload times have tripled in parts of the province,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “Learning that the province has only gained one paramedic in the last year is extremely concerning – especially from a government that was elected on a promise to fix healthcare.”

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