Manitoba looking to improve Emergency Medical Services

In preparation of Paramedic Week, CityNews reporter Joanne Roberts takes a tour of the WFPS training academy and tries her hand at CPR, Naloxone administration and a climb of the fire tower.

The Government of Manitoba is looking at taking steps to improve Emergency Medical Services.

The province says as part of the 2024 budget, they are looking to train more paramedics, adding more ambulances and expanding emergency patient transport.

“Our government is investing in paramedicine, so that Manitobans can feel secure knowing first responders will be there to assist in emergencies,” said Uzoma Asagwara, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister.

“We are also making sure timely emergency care is available to all Manitobans no matter where they live, which is why we are supporting new training spots for advanced care paramedics to work in rural and northern communities.”

Paramedics responded to a staged 911 call to show media how they would respond to a man having a heart attack. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Part of the provincial plan is to invest an additional $124,000 to Red River College Polytechnic in 2024-25, which will go towards 16 new training seats for advanced care paramedics (ACPs), who will later work in rural and northern communities.

“Advanced care paramedics are a huge asset to rural health care,” said Rebecca Clifton, director, Paramedic Association of Manitoba.

“With a deeper education and greater skill set, they can provide more acute care for patients, making them vital in critical transports or emergency rooms in remote, rural settings. For far too long, rural Manitoba just was not recognizing ACPs and enrolment suffered as a result. We are very happy to see the province invest in not only training but new positions as well, allowing paramedics to advance their education and improve care for Manitobans as a result.”

Chris Broughton, a community paramedic with the WFPS, gave a demonstration on using Naloxone. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

The province will also look to attract more students to become ACPs by investing over $16 million, which will expand job opportunities.

In addition, the province says they have a goal of hiring 1,000 new health-care workers in 2024-25 and a third ambulance stationed in Brandon.

Lastly the province says it will be declaring May 19 to 25 as Paramedic Week in Manitoba.

“Because paramedics are often first on the scene, they are the first link in someone’s health-care journey,” said Asagwara.

“Paramedics have saved the lives of countless Manitobans and helped put them on a path to recovery. Next week our government will recognize paramedics as the backbone of our emergency health services. It is our opportunity to thank them for the work they do to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Ahead of Paramedic Week, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is hosted an event where Winnipeggers could be given a hands-on experience to learn about the work conducted by first responders.

The event featured, a CPR demonstration, a staged call on responding to STEMI heart attacks, a presentation about community paramedics, learning Narcan administration, and a climb of the fire tower.

WATCH: Paramedic with the City of Winnipeg, Reece Pattyn, spoke with CityNews reporter Joanne Roberts and gave her a tour of the inside and outside of one of the fleet ambulances.

-With files from Joanne Roberts, CityNews

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