Late last week the City of Kawartha Lakes welcomed two new deputy paramedic chiefs to the Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services team. Sara Johnston and Patricia Bromfield will begin their new roles for the municipality effective January 13.
However, why has the City hired two deputy chiefs for this position when it only had one before?
Council met on September 17 and 18 to hear from staff across all departments about the driving forces shaping the 2020 budget. The main themes will be prioritizing the timing of capital projects and remaining resilient in the wake of known and potential funding cuts and reorganization of service delivery by the province.
Ron Taylor, CAO, summed up the discussions by noting, “We have a 2020 capital budget that is very ambitious at almost $50 million. It includes a number of new and significant projects that invest in our roads, downtowns and parks. Council has acknowledged the need to prioritize projects in light of many unknowns at the provincial level. The timing of capital projects will be critical to ensure we stay on course with our financial plan in order to keep services affordable for residents.”
It hasn’t been easy for municipalities to get a handle on this current provincial government when it comes to funding, whether for paramedic services, childcare, Ontario Works, and more.
Communication has been unclear and sometimes contradictory. The Province has sent mixed signals on cuts, promising to slay a deficit that grew under two previous Liberal governments, solely by cutting “red tape.” At the same time they’ve promised to avoid the kinds of egregious cuts made by Ontario Conservatives in the Mike Harris years.
At the June 21 City of Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Recruitment Ceremony, the focus shifted briefly from 11 new recruits to a group of citizens present at an emergency in Cambray. When Ronald Goodhand collapsed from a heart attack at the four corners, citizens took action until the paramedics arrived.
Some directed traffic, some communicated with the 911 operator, some notified family, and one started CPR. Goodhand was revived and transported by ambulance to Ross Memorial Hospital.
When Kawartha Lakes Paramedics Bruce Mackay and Francine Scott responded to a 9-1-1 call last week, they were not expecting to experience a small miracle. However, they did – and Kawartha Lakes wants to find and thank the good Samaritans who made this miracle happen.
Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services responded to a call regarding an elderly man who had collapsed at the intersection of Cambray and Elm Tree Street in Cambray. When the Paramedics arrived, they were welcomed by a crowd of residents who had started CPR on the senior. Upon the Paramedics arrival the residents continued CPR while being instructed by the Paramedics, who were setting up the defibrillator.
The 4.5 per cent tax levy increase forecast in the City’s Long Range Financial Plan for 2019 was whittled down to 2.85 per cent, largely the result of decisions not to fund purchase of an aerial ladder fire truck and to reduce contribution to the capital reserve.
A budget process that began last September with the presentation of a draft to the previous council wound up yesterday being approved unanimously.
As Jennifer Stover, director of corporate services, pointed out with some satisfaction, the overall reduction in tax levy was accomplished without any reduction in service levels and while supporting the City’s largest capital program to date.
A spring storm threatened but never delivered on preventing more than 200 students — and many more members of the public — from experiencing the tenth anniversary of Paramedics in the Park in Lindsay.
School teachers from nearby schools descended at Victoria Park with their students to experience education stations on CPR, what to expect when you call 911, severe allergies and Epi Pens, Tick Talk, and basic wound dressing.
May 31 marks the tenth anniversary of “Paramedics in the Park,” which began as a way to educate the public about City of Kawartha Lakes Paramedics and their partners at the police and fire departments.
According to Deputy Chief of Paramedics, Derek Brown, “It was an opportunity to let the public see our equipment and meet some paramedics when they weren’t in an emergency.”
“For years we had been meeting students in their classrooms but we felt it was a great opportunity to invite the children to come to Victoria Park, experience some fun in the outdoors towards the end of the school year, and really get to interact with us.”