‘A beacon of hope’: New Yukon EMS unit focuses on substance use crisis – CBC

Yukon declared a substance use emergency in January 2022

Nov 08, 2022

Jeff Bell gets ready for his paramedic shift in Whitehorse by loading fentanyl test strips and withdrawal management equipment, alongside a traditional first aid kit, into the back of a black SUV.

Bell, a superintendent with Yukon EMS, is one of the paramedics now assigned to the paramedic response unit — a new pilot project to respond to the ongoing substance use crisis in the territory.

“We’re hoping that this vehicle is … a beacon of hope in the community,” Bell said.

During his shift, Bell could assign himself to respond to non-emergency calls for patients dealing with withdrawal or overdoses.

He can direct patients to places like a detox centre or the city’s emergency shelter instead of the emergency room if the cases aren’t severe — something he says takes pressure off the territory’s main hospital.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-ems-unit-beacon-of-hope-substance-use-emergency-1.6644617

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