Mackenzie’s Ambulance Service has started advertising for paramedics and emergency medical responders.
Wednesday the ads began to appear on websites and in businesses in Port aux Basques, and ads began appearing in newspapers.
On Aug. 2 there were 11 paramedics and emergency medical responders who were either fired or quit depending on the side of the dispute you hear. Management says the workers quit, while the workers believe they were fired.
Steve Carey, an owner of the service, said the ads were designed to augment staff.
The company will train emergency medical responders in an 80-hour course and pay $14 an hour at 40 hours a week. Paramedics will earn $19 an hour for 40 hours.
“We’re advertising for additional staff,” Carey said. “We want this organization completely staffed and functional with as many employees from Port aux Basques as we can get.”
The course materials for the responder course is already on site and an instructor has been lined up. Carey said the focus on recruiting is paramedics.
He wants 100 per cent paramedic coverage — a paramedic for every shift on every ambulance.
According to Carey, within 10 minutes of posting the final notice, two people headed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to obtain certificates of conduct, a requirement in the hiring process.
In the meantime, he said the service is meeting the calls.
There were four calls Wednesday morning — three emergencies and one routine transportation — and all were answered, Carey said.
“We have ambulances sitting by the door right now, waiting,” he said.
Andrew Parsons doesn’t see an end in sight for the dispute between Mackenzie’s Ambulance and its 11 former workers.
The lawyer for the workers, who maintain they were fired, said as of Wednesday afternoon it looked like the parties were at an impasse.
He’s pessimistic a deal will be reached, but said he’s still available to talk. In fact, a meeting was set for Wednesday evening. The results of the meeting were not known as of press time.
Parsons believed a deal was close Friday afternoon, and thought a deal could have been reached Tuesday, but Wednesday the camps seemed farther apart than ever.
“Our people are always willing to come to the table,” Parsons said.
“This is not a case of people who are on strike. This is a case of people who have been fired and want to come back to work, and therefore are always willing to figure it out. The problem is we haven’t been presented with anything different from the start.”
Tuesday, he said, it became clear using Employment Insurance to supplement the wages of the ambulance attendants was not possible. That event took out a basic part of the deal that was so close Friday and Tuesday.
“The problem here is money,” Parsons said. “There’s been no change in the status. It’s still the same old back and forth with no resolution.”
The Western Star