New rig

Roomier ve­hi­cle wel­comed by emer­gency re­spon­ders

The Pilot - - Front Page - BY CHRIS­TINE HENNEBURY

Change Is­lands get new emer­gency re­sponse ve­hi­cle

Ear­lier this year the Change Is­lands Emer­gency Re­spon­ders team re­ceived a new ve­hi­cle to help them pro­vide care to res­i­dents of Change Is­lands.

Mar­ion Adams, a team mem­ber for the past 11 years, says the new ve­hi­cle is a lot eas­ier to work in.

“The one be­fore had a few is­sues, but this is a new model and there is more room,” Adams said. “In the old ve­hi­cle, the stretcher would be up against the left wall. In this one, you can walk all around the stretcher and help the pa­tient from all sides.”

The emer­gency re­spon­ders crew are vol­un­teers that sup­port the work of the com­mu­nity’s nurse. The group op­er­ates as a specif­i­cally trained part of the fire depart­ment and one of the fire­fight­ers drives the ve­hi­cle while the re­spon­ders help the pa­tient in the back.

“There are eight first re­spon­ders and we as­sist the nurse, for emer­gen­cies,” Adams said. “If there is some med­i­cal emer­gency when the nurse is not here, we don’t di­ag­nose any­thing, we’re not trained for that. We call the paramedics to meet us, then we load the pa­tient into the emer­gency re­sponse ve­hi­cle, make them com­fort­able, and bring them to the ferry.”

Stephen Brin­son is the mayor on Change Is­lands and a re­cent ad­di­tion to the emer­gency re­spon­ders team. He de­scribes the other steps in the process.

“We’ll call the ferry, and they will come right to Change Is­lands from wher­ever they are,” Brin­son ex­plained. “Then we wait with the pa­tient to meet with the am­bu­lance in Farewell.”

Adams says de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the emer­gency, the pa­tient will ei­ther go to James Pa­ton Me­mo­rial Health Cen­tre in Gan­der or be brought to Fogo Is­land for Mede­vac ser­vices.

Even though they are vol­un­teers, the emer­gency re­spon­ders crew takes their work very se­ri­ously. They op­er­ate on an on-call ba­sis and com­mu­ni­cate fre­quently with other crew mem­bers.

“We all let each other know if we are gone off the is­land,” Adams said. “We don’t want any­one tak­ing up time look­ing for us when ev­ery sec­ond counts.”

Adams says they have worked to­gether long enough to de­velop their own roles and rou­tines.

“We each have a job,” Adams said. “Wendy gives the per­son oxy­gen, I’m talk­ing to them, help­ing them stay calm, Suzanne gets on the phone to the paramedics.”

While he is a re­cent ad­di­tion to the crew, Brin­son is grate­ful for the work the emer­gency re­spon­ders group has put in over the years on Change Is­lands.

“As Mayor I speak for the peo­ple of Change Is­lands when I say that to have some­one here when some­one gets sick, to have the emer­gency re­spon­ders avail­able to trans­port them, is very im­por­tant,” he said. “It has worked well for Change Is­lands. The emer­gency re­spon­ders have done a won­der­ful job.”

In case of a med­i­cal emer­gency on Change Is­lands the emer­gency re­spon­ders can be reached at 709-621-5111.

The new first re­sponse ve­hi­cle for Change Is­lands.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.