Hello again everyone and welcome to the 2022/2023 registration year! I want to say a heartfelt thank you to those who renewed their practice permit this year prior to 4 pm on September 30. I sincerely hope the new registration platform, Alinity, worked well for you; it definitely made a number of processes smoother for our staff. There are still a few tweaks to be made but overall, I think that Alinity is a significant improvement.
As we start our new registration year, I would like to give an update on our membership and its growth. When we look at our registration numbers that we started this year with we are on trend with the numbers from last year, which means our membership isn’t shrinking but it isn’t growing either. Staffing shortages seem to be the number one issue with employers of paramedics and the growth of our membership is something that we need to focus on. One of the biggest barriers that our educators face is ensuring that there are enough ambulance practicum placements available for their students. Our educational stakeholders continue to work with employers to maximize practicum opportunities, however much of this is contingent upon practitioners’ willingness to take on students. The College supports precepting by offering CE credits for preceptor training and 30 SD credits for taking on a student. While precepting can often seem like it adds to the workload, ensuring that there is a future wave of well-trained paramedics benefits each of us as well as the patients they care for.
On another note, you have likely heard that our Minister of Health has put EMS at the top of his priorities list. With the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretariat in charge of EMS and a new AHS administrator, we expect that there may be some significant changes coming, specifically regarding emergency department wait times. It is encouraging to know that our members’ voices, along with concerns raised by the public, have been heard and we remain optimistic that the strategies that will be implemented will alleviate stress on the system.
On a national level, the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) has been working hard on a new competency framework and is seeking input. This framework will serve as a guiding document for the development of essential regulatory requirements and competencies for each designation (EMR, PCP, ACP and CCP). A survey was distributed last week, and we encourage you to participate. Your input to this framework is vital as paramedic regulators across Canada work towards a harmonized approach to both education and scope of practice.
Lastly, I think it is important to acknowledge that our paramedic community has suffered some terribly tragic events over the past few months. As paramedics, we often find ourselves in situations that can affect us both physically and psychologically and the impact can affect us for the rest of our lives. It is tremendously encouraging to see how these tragic events can bring us together and the outpouring of support has been evidence that we truly have each other’s back.
So, as we head towards the holiday season, I truly hope each of you are able to enjoy time with family and friends, and on behalf of the College, I wish each of you all the best in 2023.