Asthma UK community forum
9,829 members16,609 posts

possible EMS strike

I read in the paper this morning that the city's ambulance drivers will be taking a strike vote in mid-July. This means that our city could be without EMS for a certain period of time. The city has said that they have no way of replacing these workers should they decide to strike. According to some policy or another, ambulances are not an essential service, therefore they have the right to strike, unlike firefighters, or police.

Now, I am not such a frequent ambulance user, but I have needed them in the past year, and I am feeling a little bit uneasy about this. And what if there were to be a catastrophic traffic accident or something similar?! How would the city deal with that? What are your thoughts on the matter? Has anybody heard about this happenening in another city? Here's hoping they will negotiate something before July 16th rolls around


5 Replies

Hi Brynne,

In 1989 - 1990 the Essex Ambulance service (& all UK ??) had industrial action and the army helped out plus for non urgent/ emergency work I also helped out through St John Ambulance (Oh, and I was working in Essex Ambulance Control at the same time! LOL)

Recent disputes in the UK - Liverpool area I think have been helped out by St John Ambulance and also the Red Cross.

In Canada, St John & the Red Cross may be called in to assist.

Our firefighters also strike and we are covered by the Army in their Green Goddess fire engins which can only do 40 MPH on Blue lights - Hillarious over taking them all going up the main road - felt sorry for them ( they are around 40 yrs Old)

I think Authorities will have something in place to cope with it - either emergency plans or other strike plans utilising volutary services (SJA & RC)

Please done worry & stay well!



In the UK as well you may have ""fast response"" outreach teams of docs and nurses from the emergency departments, as well as the helicopter emergency medical services (which will still have doctors attached to them, if not the paramedics).


then there are community first responders too

didnt c kates post *i must be going blind in my old age!*

(i edited this 1 before you all think i'm mad)


In the UK I think only the police and the army aren't allowed to strike; a few years back there was a heavily publicised (and deeply unpopular) firefighter strike. In that case, the army were drafted in to help out, although the firefighters union refused to allow the army to use the fire engines or fire stations (which I believe was deemed to be an illegal act because the firefighters union doesn't own these things; they are government owned).

Not sure what the governmental obligations are in Canada as far as EMS in concerned. In the UK they are obliged to cover these eventualities in some way, as mentioned in the posts below.


Thanks for your replies, filled with useful information. I'm sure we will all be covered if they do decide to take action