Manitoba government and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service reach agreement
By CFF StaffHeadlines News Emergency & disaster management agreement emergency response
May 24, 2023, Manitoba – The Manitoba government, through Shared Health, and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) have completed negotiations on a new service purchase agreement that will ensure the reliable and consistent delivery of emergency medical response, transport and community paramedicine services within Winnipeg, Premier Heather Stefanson and Mayor Scott Gillingham announced today.
“Emergency responders and members of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service have always played an important and vital role in the support and care they provide in community,” said Stefanson. “This agreement is a significant investment reflecting our government’s commitment to healing health care and ensuring emergency responders will continue to be able to offer support and compassionate care during moments of medical distress.”
“Today’s agreement strikes the right balance—we’re stepping up our ambulance capacity to ensure our paramedics have the resources they need to do their job effectively, and we’re doing it in a way that makes financial sense for the City of Winnipeg and the Manitoba government,” said Gillingham. “It’s a win-win deal that shows what we can achieve when we work together with a shared commitment to our people and fiscal responsibility.”
The agreement, with baseline funding for current and existing services, will address an increase in patient volumes with the addition of two ambulances staffed 24-7. In addition, it will provide cost-recovery certainty to the City of Winnipeg and WFPS for services provided on an annual basis.
The agreement covers a period of five years, between May 10, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2027, with an option to extend for additional five-year terms, if agreed to by both parties. Funding will be approved annually through agreed-upon processes that allow for discussion of ongoing and continuing services as well as future patient volume increases, the premier noted.
“The City of Winnipeg has provided ambulance service within Winnipeg for 48 years,” said Christian Schmidt, fire and paramedic chief, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. “Over that time, we have worked hard to build a service-delivery model that best suits our city. I am proud that the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service will continue as a unified service, providing our residents with the high-quality, compassionate and innovative emergency medical services they have come to expect from us.”
The Manitoba government provides annual funding to Shared Health in support of the agreement, including approved funding increases that will be communicated to the City of Winnipeg through annual funding letters.
“We are committed to the ongoing delivery of emergency medical services that can be relied upon by the residents of Winnipeg and look forward to our ongoing partnership with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service,” said Helen Clark, chief operating officer, emergency response services, Shared Health.
For 2023, funding will consist of a combination of baseline funding of $51.9 million and one-time funding of $2.1 million for recognized cost recovery items.
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