Ambulance attendants want paramedicine program at college

Rural Yukon ambulance attendants want to establish permanent paramedic training at Yukon College in Whitehorse.

Rural Yukon ambulance attendants want to establish permanent paramedic training at Yukon College in Whitehorse.

And they’re willing to use money from last fall’s labour negotiations to do it.

A component of last fall’s negotiation was an annual $60,000 bursary to allow rural volunteer ambulance attendants to train for “primary care paramedic” status.

To date, the attendants have accumulated a training budget of $120,000.

In the past, Yukon ambulance attendants seeking such paramedic training have had to leave the Yukon or fly in paramedical trainers from Outside.

Both options are expensive.

It can cost up to $15,000 per person, and sucks the bursary money outside the territory, said Neale Wortley, chief negotiator for the rural attendants.

By establishing a permanent paramedic training program at Yukon College, the attendants hope to foster an “educational legacy” that could, eventually, attract out-of-province students to study in the Yukon, said Wortley.

As well, the program could train Yukoners for paramedic positions in the private sector.

Yukon College already offers nursing courses. College officials have already indicated an interest in the development of a paramedic program.

“We have spoken with (the attendants) and we are moving forward,” said college spokesperson Jacqueline Bedard.

Even with an initial $120,000 commitment, as well as an additional annual commitment of $60,000, it is unlikely the existing bursary could cover the cost of establishing a paramedicine program at the college, said Wortley.

To date, Wortley has written both the Yukon government and Council of Yukon First Nations asking them to help fund a college paramedic course.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea … the program would help to standardize higher levels of training among Yukon ambulance attendants,” said Lori Duncan, CYFN’s director of Health and Social Services.

However, she added, financial support “is not an option at this time.”

Currently, Whitehorse is the only Yukon community where paramedic training is offered to ambulance attendants.

This was accomplished through a training team brought up from Alberta.

The current situation is a “double standard,” said Wortley.

“If you’re in Whitehorse and you call an ambulance, you get a certified paramedic. But, if you’re in Dawson City, you only get a first-aider…this two-tiered level of humanity between Whitehorse and the communities has to end.”

 Time is tight.

 Given the demand for paramedics, additional funding sources must be found by May 15th.

If that doesn’t happen, attendants will start arranging for out-of-territory training, said Wortley.

Just Posted

John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file
Catherine Elliott, Yukon acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, has announced two new COVID-19 cases in the Yukon.
Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed, Porter Creek Secondary prom cancelled

Graduating students are encouraged to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms

Jim Elliot/Yukon News
Ross and Cindy Smith are finding more reason to smile as the floodwaters that almost reached their farm house were beginning to recede on June 8.
Farms on South Klondike Highway experience severe flooding

The nearest body of water is a lake almost three kilometres away

X
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 11, 2021.… Continue reading

Whitehorse courthouse interior on April 6, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
CYFN launches pilot program for community impact statements

First Nations will receive support developing statements after major crimes

Israr Ahmed speaks at a vigil at the Whitehorse Mosque to honour the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on June 10. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukoners gather to honour Muslim family killed in London

Like many communities across the country, Yukoners came together to honour the Muslim family murdered in London Ontario

The RCMP Critical Incident Program will be training in Watson Lake from June 14-16. Mike Thomas/Yukon News
RCMP will conduct three days of training in Watson Lake

Lakeview Apartment in Watson Lake will be used for RCMP training

John Tonin/Yukon News Squash players duke it out during Yukon Open tournament action at Better Bodies on June 5.
Four division titles earned at squash Yukon Open

The territory’s squash talent was on full display at the 2021 Yukon Open

Runners leave the start line of the 2014 Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay Skagway. The 2021 race will start at checkpoint six and remain in the Yukon only. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)
Klondike Road Relay returns to in-person after a virtual year

A modified, in-person Klondike Road Relay will be open to Yukoners

John Tonin/Yukon News Rang Pillai speaks at the Great Yukon Summer press conference on May 27.
‘The sooner the better’: Operators react to Great Yukon Summer campaign

The Great Yukon Summer campaign was announced May 27 and begins June 4

Mayor Dan Curtis stands in front of Minister Richard Mostyn and MP Larry Bagnell during an infastructure announcement made outside Jack Hulland Elementary School in Whitehorse on June 2. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Safety improvements planned for Whitehorse school zones

Enhanced pedestrian crosses are planned to make walking to school safer

2020 Haines Junction graduates line up for a photo on May 27, 2020 as part of a celebration parade through the village. While the St. Elias Community School is able to host an outdoor grad ceremony for 2021 grads this year, it will also host a parade and group photo as it did last year. (Marty Samis/Submitted)
Ceremonies and parades all part of 2021 grad

2021 sees old traditions return with some 2020 events adopted

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
New city hall could cost $24.7 million

Council will be presented with latest plans June 7

Most Read