Don’t pick up syringes, Call 911
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.”