TORONTO: Most Canadians say “no” to merging the jobs of firefighters and paramedics, a recent poll by Vector Research shows.
Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians polled opposed the merging of paramedic and firefighter jobs if no cost savings can be found.
Regardless of cost, 60 per cent of those polled said turning firefighters into “firemedics” would make their communities either less safe (47 per cent), or would make no difference to safety. Only 35 per cent felt firemedics would make communities safer.
“This poll echoes what our paramedic members are hearing in their neighborhoods,” said OPSEU President Leah Casselman. “These are two distinct professions and so they should remain.”
The poll was conducted in November, just after an incumbent Mayor was soundly defeated in Owen Sound after initiating a plan to merge paramedics and firefighters. The firemedic scheme was the major election issue in that city.
Results for Ontario vary only slightly from Canada-wide figures. The Vector poll was based on 1,000 interviews and has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
“The people have spoken clearly on this issue, and municipalities must listen,” Casselman said.
For further information:
David Cox, OPSEU Communications, 1-800-268-3578 x 314