Mike Merriman, the paramedic unit chair for CUPE Local 416, has confirmed that a life threatening call came in just before 8:00 Saturday night but there were no units available to attend.
Merriman also says staffing was an issue prior to the pandemic. However, with the recent surge in infections, there are more personnel who are unable to come to work. Paramedics are also volunteering less for overtime due to burnout.
Spokesperson for the City of Toronto Brad Ross weighs in on the issue as well, saying the unavailability of a paramedic unit is not an uncommon occurrence, stressing that there will be delays in responding to low priority calls while paramedics respond to higher priority calls due to absences related to COVID-19.”