Don’t pick up sy­ringes, Call 911

Southwest Booster - - NEWS - Ge­orge Bowditch

The Swift Cur­rent Fire Depart­ment is ad­vis­ing the pub­lic to not pick up dis­carded sy­ringes they find.

“We re­mind peo­ple to make sure that they leave them where they are,” ex­plained City of Swift Cur­rent’s Deputy Fire Chief De­nis Pilon. “Don’t try to pick them up be­cause they could have some kind of in­fec­tious dis­ease on them or some­thing like that. Call 911, We will come and pick them up. We have a pro­ce­dure for do­ing that. We do it safely us­ing tongs and we put them into a ‘sharps’ con­tainer and they are prop­erly dis­posed of.”

The pro­ce­dure for han­dling of aban­doned sy­ringes helps en­sure this re­moval process is han­dled by trained per­son­nel and to avoid any pub­lic ex­po­sure to un­nec­es­sary dan­gers.

While the sit­u­a­tion is not a ma­jor prob­lem, it does ex­ist in the com­mu­nity.

“We have found one or two al­ready. Typ­i­cally what hap­pens is we will get a phone call from a par­ent or a school teacher that some­body has found a sy­ringe.”

“I don’t think that it is a grow­ing con­cern. We usu­ally do four to six a year on av­er­age. It is get­ting worse, there is no doubt about that. I know in places like Regina they will do 500 to 600 a year so we are pretty lucky here but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be aware of them and be aware of nee­dles that we may find. We need to ed­u­cate our kids.”

Pilon says there is no set area where you might find a dis­carded sy­ringe.

“We will find them in back al­leys, you can find them just about any­where but typ­i­cally around garbage cans and things like that.”

He even ad­vises the pub­lic to ex­er­cise cau­tion even if a sy­ringe is still pro­tected with a safety cap.

“Some­times the safety cap will still be on them, which is fine, but we still rec­om­mend that you keep them away from kids. You don’t know if they have been used or not. We treat them all as hav­ing some kind of in­fec­tious dis­ease on them.

The fire depart­ment has no prob­lem com­ing and looking af­ter th­ese aban­doned sy­ringes as Pilon says.

“We will come out and make sure that they are prop­erly dis­posed of. If we are not avail­able, some­body from the am­bu­lance has the same tech­nol­ogy and they can do it too.”

If some­one brings an aban­doned sy­ringe home, deal with it in the same man­ner and call the fire depart­ment. Don’t throw them away.

“Give us a call. We will come and pick it up at home but don’t throw it in the garbage be­cause the garage­men when they come to dump the garbage it could stick through the bag and stab them in the hand or some­thing like that and they could end up with some kind if dis­ease. They need to be prop­erly dis­posed of and that is usu­ally done by burn­ing them.”

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