COVID-19 #7

We have almost completed our second month of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, and what a stretch it has been. Throughout this process both Dispatchers and Paramedics have stepped up to the task and have done an amazing job day in and day out!  This task has not been easy, from trying to keep ourselves updated on a policy, changes to the screening tool, and changing our approach on how to assess a patent. I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of this amazing team.

As the Department of Health confirmed new cases after 17 days with none, many people may feel discouraged. We need to realize overall that we are still headed in the right direction. With new cases in different regions we can understand why we must remain focused and vigilant on trying to reduce the spread of this virus.

Please remember if anyone needs help moving forward the Executive and myself are here to help, all you need to do is reach out, together we can get through this.

N95 Mask

With the new 3M 7500 N95 respirators, all members will be tested as there are different sizes available. ANB has projected that this process should be complete by next week with the help of many testers working daily to roll this out as soon as possible.

As stated in a company email, the intent is that when the pandemic is over, these respirators will be collected and stored until they are needed again. I understand that this has caused some questions but please understand this process will only happen after we have been cleared of this pandemic. This may be many months down the road as we wait for a vaccine. The Union will have further discussion to address your concerns prior to this happening. More details will be made available when we reach the end of this pandemic.

The current PPE in regards to masks will continue to be available in an ambulance.

Social Distancing Precautions

On May 1st and 7th a memo from ANB was sent for the need to wear a procedural mask when social distancing can’t be achieved. This direction is from the Department of Health. Where public health is requesting the use of a face mask it is important for the public to see paramedics following the actions when distancing can’t be achieved for the safety of ourselves, our family and our community.

An example; there have been situations due to a slight decrease in call volume, where more members are at a station at any given time. It was reported that we are not doing our part to reduce potential spread by not maintaining a distance of 6 feet from one another and by not wearing a mask when this can’t be achieved.

Union Vacation Requests

Our 2020 – 2021 vacation request period is now being accepted from May 1st till May 30 with the employer’s response being given by June 30th.

Important Change:

Due to COVID-19, all unused vacation time from 2019 – 2020 is being carried over automatically. If you would rather have these hours paid out, please submit the form emailed on May 5 or contact your OM. The unused hours will be paid out on the last pay in July.

I understand that many vacation plans may not be available this summer, however a break from the stressors of our profession may be needed by some, with that I wish to encourage all members to take your vacation time.

Mental Health

With the new “normal” and the restrictions on functions and gatherings currently in place, we are starting to see an increase in frustration throughout this province. I encourage any member who feels the need to reach out for help to please do so. We pride ourselves for helping others, however we hesitate sometimes to help ourselves. It is ok to take a break and unwind. Please know there are many support programs available. Also, your peers and this Executive are always hear to help anyway we can so please reach out if you need to.

Communication

Moving forward I would like to release a general message every two weeks. In the event something urgent comes up a separate release will be sent out. Our goal is to have all members informed as much as possible. Although you may not always like the information, it is our responsibility to ensure you receive it when needed or requested, and this change will allow us to follow more of a schedule.

Member Appreciation

Throughout the years, many of us have responded to calls, stayed on the line to coach the public in CPR or childbirth and changed the clinical outcome of many patients. I feel over the years and even today that these members have not been commended on a job well done.

Moving forward I would like to acknowledge our co-workers on the awesome job they do! With this, I will need your help. If you witness a situation that you feel a co-worker deserves recognition for a job well done, please send the name with a brief description to your regional President.

With so much stress and negative media we would like to try and shine a light on the great work you do everyday!

Work of the Executive

Your Executive remain in consent communication and staying on top of our issues. With that said If you have something that needs to be addressed, please reach out to your Station VP or regional President so we can have it addressed.

The next scheduled meeting for the Executive Board has been set for May 28, 2020. Thanks again for everything you do for our province and please remain safe!

Respectfully,

 

Andrew McLean

President, Local 4848