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Paramedic Service Chiefs of Saskatchewan raise staffing concerns at annual convention


Paramedic service chiefs from across Saskatchewan recently gathered for their annual conference in downtown Saskatoon.

This year's theme was "working towards a brighter future," focusing on the state of the industry in the province, exchanging ideas, and discussing technologies.

One of the main concerns highlighted was the worker shortages in the paramedic field amidst increasing call volumes.

Steve Skoworodko, the President of Paramedic Service Chiefs of Saskatchewan, highlighted the significant increase in calls for service, from 170,000 to 183,000 in just one year. This surge in demand has put pressure on both paramedics and hospital facilities.

Recruitment and retention issues are widespread in the entire medical industry, leading to less predictable hours, and high burnout rates.

Jessica Brost, the convention chairperson said that the issue isn't just for paramedics, and isn't just in Saskatchewan.

"Now this is a provincewide, and a national problem so we are calling on the Saskatchewan government to help create some positions in our province, and some meaningful ones where they have more guaranteed hours."

One strategy discussed is attracting younger generations to the profession.

"We want to really try to concentrate on trying to bring people locally. Our people who are coming through grades 11, 12. How do we interact with them? People in other professions that are maybe looking for a profession that gives a lot of feedback and positivity to you, it's a really caring profession," said Skoworodko.

The Saskatchewan government has recognized the problem and provides incentives for people to join the industry and stay in Saskatchewan through education bursaries.

Overall, paramedic chiefs are hopeful that by filling vacant positions, they can alleviate some of the pressure on Saskatchewan's first responders. Top Stories

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