The Alberta Paramedic Association (Association) came into being by a group of dedicated people who believed that an organization aimed at providing a voice for its membership was needed for those involved in EMS in Alberta. Over time, including a few bumps in the road, the volunteers dedicated their time to organization and the Association grew.
Today the Association still maintains those foundational values of providing an area of paramedic voice and advocacy within the industry. Like everything else however, the world around us changes and the Association has to change with it. Volunteers remain the core of the organization. Paramedics advocating for Paramedics. Here is a glimpse into some of the upcoming changes for 2023 with more information being posted in the next week.
Offering more than insurance
The Association was built on volunteers who provided support by finding and providing educational opportunities, coordinating events such as the AGM, the creation of the (Helping Every Local Paramedic (HELP) fund and working behind the scenes, dedicating their time to advocate on behalf of provincial paramedics. They have managed membership drives, sent out communication and responded to questions and inquiries.
In the last year, it was volunteers who participated on the Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee in advocating on behalf of all provincial paramedics to improve not only hours of work but the system in which we work. The Association also became the Alberta chapter of the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC), expanding that advocacy and offering local paramedics a voice on the national stage.
Also in this past year, volunteers have worked with Prolink, our insurance broker, to have more than liability insurance available through the APA, with discounts to home and auto group insurance program being developed for our members.
Previous Association membership fees have covered the cost of personal liability insurance, with a slight addition to provide operating costs for the APA, like running a website, accounting services and communications. Since its inception, the Association has operated on the strength and background of volunteers however we find that there are specialty services that the Association requires that we currently do not have within our paramedic community.
Managing these programs, as well as the many other services put in place in previous years, such as the Psychologist Registry and the HELP Fund, come with costs and require consistent support. While volunteers (such as the board of directors, Executive, and others) have provided great work, the increased needs for additional specialty services such as enhanced IT and Web support, accounting persons and systems, communications and legal services have all been affected and also multiplied due to the current inflation crisis.
Therefore, the tough decision has been made for our membership fees to increase to $125.00 in 2023. It is anticipated that this increase will strengthen the Association and not require any further increase for some time. The breakdown of these costs are as follows:
- Your professional liability insurance (approximately $61.00),
- Your PAC membership fees ($17.00),
- An admin fee to grow and sustain the HELP Fund ($3.00) for those paramedics in need, and
- Operating charges ($44.00) which covers the costs of the specialty/professional services, bank fees and website services, etc.
We also want to grow out membership and need representation from across our province to be truly successful. So, with that out there, stay tuned in the next week as we also present further detail on what we have done to provide some added value for those fee increases. The APA is only able to keep these costs low because of the support and dedication of volunteers. Thank you to all who support us, including board members who develop the strategy and direction of our Associations. If you would like to volunteer with the APA, please reach out to email@example.com