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Letters to the editor, December 23, 2019 

A whole lotta love for Andrew Bethune's cover story about what it's like to be a paramedic.

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First responses

Absolutely superb writing from Andrew Bethune about his years as a paramedic ("Health care's exhausted pain reliever," cover story, December 12)! Heart-tugging and very well said. As a personal support worker, I relate to the burnout, difficult patients, low pay, shitty health care system and all its shortcomings. It is the positive responses, caring for someone who needs care and the amazing families that keep me doing the job. I have already quoted the line that "you can say beautiful things with dirty words." Wonderfully written!

I look forward to reading Andrew's book when he's finished writing it, and wish him good luck in his future endeavours! Sail on Andrew!
—Cynthia van Kootens, Dartmouth


This story is some fantastic writing which painted a very real picture of what life on the front lines of healthcare is like.
—@shanara7 on Instagram


Thank you for this piece!
—@little_bit_of_aj


This was one of the best features I've ever read in The Coast...or anywhere. Such a great article and insight. More of this please! Thanks so much.
—from Liesl Mulholland on Facebook


Incredible writing about incredible people. Paramedics in NS are desperately underpaid—the public needs to know how little we seem to value these front-line first responders Yet we expect them to take care of—and save the lives of—our families at the side of the road after a horrific accident!

Please voice your support to the political leaders that can create some change in this industry.

This should not be a private company, the Nova Scotia government should be ensuring this change. This part of the article astounded and sickened me: "The government stepped in, forced the employer's contract onto paramedics and removed their right to strike. Atlantic Canadian paramedics are still among the lowest-paid in the country. One year earlier, Halifax Transit bus drivers went on strike for about a month. As reported in The Coast, once resolved every bus driver was given a $4,000 bonus. Their new entry-level hourly wage was more than an entry-level paramedic. New bus drivers are still paid more than new paramedics."
—@bsuemcf


Great writing! Thank you.
—posted by Country Mouse at thecoast.ca


It is such a shame what these guys deal with.
—from Tracy Stiner-MacLean


This article is a must read, a real eye-opener. It's time to step up to the plate and provide a proper salary to those with such skills that each and every one of us know will be there for us when needed. Thank you for writing this article.
—@julies2226


As a fellow responder, thank you for this.
—posted by Joel Schallenberg


I didn't know this, this is shameful of the NS government.
—@emgalesloot


Yeah, but we need to put those resources into the new stadium, though...
—@nomadichomefry


Excellent read. I am not typically one to read something of this sort on the internet, but this grabbed me right away. Great writing and much appreciation for all the work you did as a paramedic. I, nor my family, have ever needed one and hope to never do.
—from Chrystal Knezacek


Thanks for your service.
—@doug.moffat53


Wow. Amazing and hit every single feeling I have ever experienced in my 33 years as a paramedic. I look forward to the day I go sailing. I cried when I read your closing paragraph. Thank you, Andrew, and enjoy the peace, my friend.
—posted by Tracey Horrocks

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