Paramedics protest again over high number of red alerts
Close to 30 Eastern Health paramedics staged an information picket line in St. John's on Thursday morning to bring awareness to the high number of red alerts that are occurring on the northeast Avalon.
Thursday's protest marked the second time the paramedics have demonstrated about the issue in the past month.
- Paramedics protest increasing number of 'red alerts'
- NAPE calls for help as ambulance 'red alerts' spike
Red alerts occur when there is no Eastern Health ambulance on standby, ready to answer emergency calls in the northeast Avalon area.
Jim Lacey, eastern vice-president with NAPE, said despite Thursday's protest, as well as the demonstration held on March 25, the union is not looking for a fight.
"We are trying to work to find solutions," said Lacey.
"We've done a great deal of research into numbers, not only from a Newfoundland standpoint, but on a national level — and more particularly with jurisdictions that have equal populations and how they've been doing things."
According to documents obtained by CBC News through access to information, there were 286 red alerts between Jan. 1 and July 31, 2013 — an average of more than one a day.
Lacey said Eastern Health is trying to resolve the problem, but government is not putting resources into fixing it.
An independent review of Newfoundland and Labrador's road ambulance program, which was released last October, concludes there is significant room for improvement in the service.
The report made 10 recommendations, including the establishment of a central dispatch system.