Paramedic reassignments cause stir in Philadelphia

The transfer of some 200 paramedics has their union and members of Philadelphia City Council upset.

Firefighters Union head William Gault says transferring 200 paramedics to other firehouses is nothing more than retribution for lawsuits the paramedics filed in order to receive more overtime.

Shuffling the paramedics, he said, will create service delays.

“No studies have been done on this,” Gault said Thursday. “We currently have a status quo agreement in and they are just doing this and it seems a little vindictive and not smart to me.”

Gault said breaking up paramedic teams and moving them to other firehouses is counterproductive.

“Paramedics develop a rapport with their hospital with their neighborhood,” he said. They know “the little streets that they can go down, that they have as a secondary route, and all that will have to be relearned by all of them.”

City officials said the adjustment comes through negotiations at the bargaining table and has nothing to do with retribution. They say just shy of 75 percent of paramedics got their first or second choice of shift.

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