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Region looking to hire up to 45 new part-time paramedics

CITYNEWS file footage.

The Region of Waterloo may soon see an increase in paramedics on the streets, as up to 45 new recruits are expected to enter the ranks over the next few months.

According to the posting, all 45 positions would be on a part time basis.

Mike Adair, Deputy Chief of Paramedic Services for Waterloo Region says the final decision as to how many new paramedics will ultimately be hired comes down to a number of factors ranging from additional resources to

“We post for up to 45 positions, and how we determine what that final number looks like, I guess it happens from adding resources, the retirement of current employees, as well as the ratio between part time and full time employees.”

Adair says last year, the Region hired 14 new paramedics from the pool of applicants.

Even with the new hires, the union representing paramedic workers in the region says, they have much bigger problems in the lack of available ambulances.

Trevor Haelzly, acting President of CUPE 5191 says the public may not see the benefits from new part time staff.

“Part time staff will not impact the public, it helps avoid down staffing if a full time paramedic is injuried, that sort of thing”

Haelzly adds the union will continue its efforts advocating for more ambulances when they meet with the Region in the coming months.

“Increasing the number of ambulances, which would increase the number of full time staff is ultimately what we need, having part timers then fill those vacancies.”