(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The first of the month combined with a few other factors have resulted in the busiest day we have ever reported on for Thunder Bay’s amazing, hard-working first responders.
We have been told that responding to drunk people passed out around the city is Superior North EMS and Thunder Bay Fire Rescue’s most frequent call for service.
The Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responds to medical calls under the “Tiered Response Program” where they also get the call as firefighters have limited training in first aid and other medically assistive techniques. The tiered response program has saved numerous lives, especially when the next ambulance is either a distance away or not available at all.
Yesterday was no different. Between the tiered response program, Superior North EMS, Thunder Bay Police Service and the Shelter Houses SOS program, there were at least 60 calls for service due to someone being too intoxicated. That number could be as much as twice as high, but it is difficult to gather reliable information, 60 is the lowest and it’s definitely way higher than that.
The strain on first responders didn’t stop overnight either, around 5:30am this morning, there was no ambulances available if you were to call. We were told that Superior North EMS went into yet another “Code Black”. Luckily, some quick shuffling and pulling an ambulance off a call where there was no immediate danger to life kept responses to all calls at least happening, the response times were higher than average.
Thunder Bay needs a larger detox centre that comes equipped with their own vehicles to pick up people who have done too much drugs or booze. Our emergency department and first responders shouldn’t have to be swamped with these issues when there is an alternative, and much better solution that can be applied for this.
Numerous other cities in Canada have a way better system setup so that their ambulances and emergency departments don’t get bogged down day after day. Also, the addict/alcoholic gets better treatment from their issues when they have a team focused on getting them help for their addiction, not just helping them sober up. It’s a win-win.
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Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.