A staff report going to Hamilton's Emergency and Community Services Committee next week will report 94 Code Zero events in 2010 - where one or less ambulances are available to respond to an emergency. This is an increase from 43 in 2009, 66 in 2008 and 44 in 2007, according to the Hamilton Mountain News. In other words, a 114% increase in 2010 over 2009.
As noted earlier, there are concerns that hospital restructuring (where the McMaster emergency room will close to adults) will make the matters worse by requiring more transfer time.
OPSEU paramedic president Mario Posteraro told the News: "The elastic has been stretched and will break, unless there is an infusion of needed dollars." Forced overtime and missed meal breaks are already pushing Hamilton paramedics to their limit, and patient service could suffer with the added pressures expected after the restructuring on April 4, according to Mr. Posteraro.