Red River College sees zero applicants for advanced care paramedic program

Not one person enrolled in Red River College’s Advanced Care Paramedicine program for this upcoming January. Mike Albanese has more on why the Paramedic Association of Manitoba says this is evidence that paramedics are fed up.

By Mike Albanese

Red River College’s advanced care paramedic (ACP) program has zero applicants for its January course and the deadline to apply has now passed.

“That number was a really harsh indication that paramedics are fed up,” said Rebecca Clifton, administrative director of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba.

“That directly correlates with the fact that paramedics do not feel there are sufficient job opportunities within Manitoba.”

Clifton says there are ACP positions in Winnipeg, but it’s scarce, at best, in rural areas.

“If within the City of Winnipeg, they feel that citizens deserve that level of care, it’s very clear that so does the rest of Manitoba,” she said.

advanced care paramedics can provide a scope of care that primary-care paramedics cannot. They can even be called in to support emergency departments at hospitals.

Clifton says ACPs feel their talents are being wasted, especially as rural hospitals continue to close.

“They often feel conflicted,” she said. “They have gone to school, that have that advanced care education, it becomes a part of their mindset. That’s the care they want to provide. But their employer says ‘I’m sorry that’s not your position. That’s your scope of work, this is what you’re expected to do.’”

Clifton says paramedics are leaving the province for opportunities that don’t exist in Manitoba after spending over two years and $15,000 to advance their skill set.

These are bodies Manitoba can’t afford to lose during what Clifton says is a paramedic shortage.

CityNews reached out to Red River College for comment. They confirmed no one applied for the program prior to the deadline.

“We continue to work with the Government of Manitoba to deliver this program,” the RRC’s statement read, in part. “Any applications received at this point will be considered for a potential spring intake.”

CityNews also reached out to the province for a comment on the lack of enrollment and what they can do to alter this but did not immediately hear back.

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