PARAMEDICS in Orange and the central west have a strong ally in their battle against the Ambulance Service of NSW, with the Central West Union Alliance (CWUA) supporting a campaign for more paramedics in the city.
CWUA co-chair Joe Maric said the the issues facing paramedics were a prime example of how the NSW government was cutting essential services to rural areas. He said the problem of not having enough paramedics in Orange could not be blamed solely on the O’Farrell government.
“I admit that this is something that has happened over several years and both sides of government need to be accountable for not enough services to cope with a growing population,” he said.
Fellow union representative Bernard Fitzsimon said NSW paramedics would strike as a last resort over the latest plan by the Ambulance Service of NSW to use fire brigade crews to respond to incidents if paramedics were unavailable.
“99.9 per cent of our workers do not want to be militants,” he said.
Mr Fitzsimons said all Coalition MPs in rural areas needed to fight hard to protect the jobs of workers in their electorates.
The men said the CWUA expected 2013 to be the year the fledgling organisation took its fight to preserve jobs and work conditions for its members to the NSW government.
Mr Maric said the dispute between the Ambulance Service of NSW and paramedics was also putting pressure on Fire and Rescue NSW employees.
“I am sure the firies didn’t sign up to be a first responder to a life-threatening situation, which should have the response of a paramedic,” he said.