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County of Renfrew paramedics will be part of G8 emergency response

Members of the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service will be part of the Emergency Response Team at the G8 summit in Huntsville.

The service was approached by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about providing advanced care and primary care paramedics and one district manager to assist with the event. The two Renfrew County crews will be part of a larger team comprised of members of neighbouring municipalities who will provide around-the-clock coverage, paramedic service chief Michael Nolan told the county's health committee this week.

The paramedics will be staged outside of Huntsville to provide backup to the primary response teams from June 21 to 27, he explained.

"We see this as a learning opportunity for our staff to be involved in a significant international event such as the G8," Chief Nolan said. "We are pleased to provide the assistance as required."

The ministry will cover the salaries of the paramedics and district manager for the week, which is expected to be around $33,000.

The G8 summit is taking place at the 800-acre Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, bringing together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union also participates in the G8 summit, but is not included as one of the host nations.

The annual summit is a chance for the leaders of the G8 countries to meet face-to-face and develop common approaches to urgent challenges facing the world. The focus of the summit is expected to be poverty concerns and human welfare. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has reiterated the fact that it is the responsibility of the world's most developed nations to aid the world's most vulnerable nations. A significant focus will be placed on maternal and child health in the poorest regions of the world.

Protest groups and other activists are expected to make a showing at the G8 summit in Huntsville June 25 and G20 summit in Toronto June 26 and 27 and before, which is why security measures are already being put in place.

Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer reporter

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