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September 16, 2005
Canadian EMS personnel launch "Medics Care Fund" to raise money for American EMS staff affected by Hurricane Katrina
  
The Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada and the Paramedic Association
of Canada have joined forces to set up the "Medics Care Fund" to give Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) staff across Canada -- and all Canadians -- the
opportunity to support paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers and support
staff from the affected region, who are now homeless or displaced as a result
of Hurricane Katrina.

Staff from Toronto EMS are joining their colleagues across Canada in an effort
to support American EMS personnel throughout the Southern United States who
have been working tirelessly to respond to 9-1-1 calls and treat patients even
though they have had their own lives uprooted by Hurricane Katrina.

Acadian Ambulance of Louisiana reports "over 50 Paramedics and their families
are now homeless and at least 220 Paramedics and their families are now
displaced as a result of the destruction."

"This is a wonderful example of the Canadian EMS family coming together to take
care of their American colleagues whose lives were devastated by Hurricane
Katrina," said Bruce Farr, Chief and General Manager of Toronto EMS.
"Paramedics and dispatchers from across Canada were asking what they could do
to help their colleagues who stayed at work saving lives even though they were
homeless themselves. The 'Medics Care Fund' will give everyone a chance to
help."

"The past few years have seen tremendous sacrifices made by paramedics and
other emergency services workers during some of the most shocking incidents
ever witnessed," said Rob Burgess, President of the Ontario Paramedic
Association. "Hurricane Katrina was among the worst of these and it has
devastated our colleagues and their families. We are calling on the generosity
of all Ontarians to help these heroes in their time of need."

"Paramedics spend their lives helping other people through their worst crises.
Some of our American colleagues have been left homeless by the hurricane and
need our help now. Toronto's paramedics wish them well and hope that our
contributions will help them put their lives back together," added Lorelei
Martin, a Toronto EMS Paramedic representing the Canadian Union of Public
Employees (CUPE), Local 416.

"It takes a team effort to provide prehospital medical care. Support staff keep
offices and stations open, dispatchers take the 9-1-1 calls, and mechanics and
technicians keep the paramedics' ambulances stocked and working. We are proud
to be part of this team effort to raise money for our American EMS colleagues
left homeless by this terrible disaster," said Deborah Dixon, on behalf of the
CUPE Local 79.

Donations can be made by direct deposit at any branch of the CIBC in Canada.
Complete a deposit slip in the name of "Medics Care Fund," CIBC Transit Number
07722, Account Number 23-71138

Cheques made out to the "Medics Care Fund" can be sent to:
Medics Care Fund, Toronto EMS, c/o Ric Rangel-Bron
4330 Dufferin St. Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3H 5R9

The "Medics Care Fund" is not a registered charity, so charitable receipts
cannot be issued. Proceeds from this fundraising effort will be distributed to
U.S. EMS personnel in need by the American Ambulance Association in
consultation with the Paramedic Association of Canada and the EMS Chiefs of
Canada.


Media contacts:

Larry Roberts
Co-ordinator
Media Relations and Communications
Toronto EMS
416-392-2255

Peter Macintyre
Manager
Community Safeguard Services
Toronto EMS
416-392-2069



 

 

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