Essex-Windsor EMS

Walking group thankful after assistance given to fallen member

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Members of a local walking group are thankful to a local cyclist after a medical incident on the Cypher Systems Greenway.

The group made the local greenway their walking route last Tuesday but the intense heat took its toll on one of the members. George Conway, one of the walking group members, said they had just departed from the Thomas Road entrance to the greenway when one of the female members of the group began to feel ill.

“She was looking hot and bothered,” said Conway.

Shortly thereafter, the woman went to a seated position before falling backwards.

“None of us had a phone,” said Conway, of the six-person walking group.

Conway stated that a man on a bicycle soon approached, provided immediate assistance and called for an ambulance. Paramedics couldn’t get through the gate, Conway said, but managed to get the stretcher through an opening and attended to the woman.

“The ambulance response was very quick,” said Conway. “They did an excellent job.”

The gate at the Cypher Systems Greenway at Thomas Road was locked last Tuesday but paramedics were still able to assist a fallen woman.

The woman came around and was transported to hospital in Windsor. Conway said he was advised by ERCA that police, fire and EMS all have keys to the gate but “perhaps a bit of priority needs to be given to those keys.”

Kevin Money, director of conservation services with ERCA, confirmed that emergency personnel have all been issued keys for the Cypher Systems Greenway gates.

“From our end, we’ve provided them with keys,” said Money. “We’ll be happy to give them more keys if they need more keys. Any and all EMS services have access to the greenways.”

Conway still remained thankful to the paramedics as well as the man on the bicycle who helped out that day. He said the man on the bicycle left before anyone could get his name, but the group wants him to know they are grateful for his efforts.

The walking group meets Tuesdays in the the Dollarama parking lot at 9:30 a.m. before deciding where they want to go for the day, he added. They enjoy the Cypher Systems Greenway as “each section is a little bit different” but they use trails in other surrounding municipalities as well. In the winter, they meet at the same day and time at the Libro Centre’s indoor walking track. He said new members are welcome, adding the group has dropped from 30 members when he first joined to six.

 

Essex-Windsor EMS recognizing Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Essex-Windsor EMS is doing its part to help people during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

As part of its support, Essex-Windsor EMS is flying yellow and purple flags outside its bases this September in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Essex-Windsor EMS chief Bruce Krauter said they are a strong supporter of this awareness campaign being spearheaded by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch, in partnership with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. He noted they are flying the flags at all EMS stations and have been active in the campaign for the last three years.

“We are a strong supporter of suicide prevention,” said Krauter.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians under 25. In 2011, more than 40 residents from Windsor and Essex County died by suicide and there was a nine-year high for self-harm emergency department visits in 2015, according to the CMHA.

“Suicide isn’t the answer,” said Krauter.

Essex-Windsor EMS is flying flags for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at all of its bases during the month of September (County of Essex photo)

Krauter noted that it is hard on first responders to go out on such calls and that even EMS members can suffer from mental health problems.

“As is the case with any first responder, we’re human too,” he said. “They may be suffering too.”

The key message of this year’s campaign is “You Are Not Alone” and the CMHA stresses that connecting and openly communicating with those who have had suicidal thoughts or those who have lost loved ones to suicide “is essential in the effort towards suicide prevention.”

Krauter said people are encouraged to reach out and talk if they are going through any difficulties. He said Essex-Windsor EMS has methods in place to support each other.

“We have an active peer support system within Essex-Windsor EMS,” said Krauter.

The County of Essex alerts people that there are events happening as part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, including an event this Sunday at 9 a.m. at the St. Clair College Sportsplex. There is a 5km or 2km Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk. For more information on seminars and events, check out the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month calendar on the CMHA’s website, found at https://windsoressex.cmha.ca.

There is help available 24-hours a day and there are caring professionals ready to listen. The Community Crisis Centre (Ages 16+) has a 24-Hour Crisis Line that can be reached by calling 519-973-4435 with the Windsor Distress Centre (all ages) being available noon to midnight by calling 519-256-5000.

“It’s OK to ask for help and it’s OK to get help,” said Krauter.

Villanova social justice students donate “comfort dogs” to EMS

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A group of St. Thomas of Villanova students have stepped up to assist children in times of emergencies.

Two Grade 12 social justice classes from the Catholic secondary school donated 101 plush St. Bernard dogs to Essex-Windsor EMS last Wednesday afternoon. Teacher Jolene Coste said there was a “dress down” day in the school that raised approximately $1,200 and that allowed for the purchase of the stuffed animals.

“I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years with emergency services,” Coste said of the project.

Two social justice classes from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School stand with Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter after the school donated 101 “comfort dogs” to EMS.

This was the first year the Essex-Windsor EMS received the stuffed dogs, with Coste stating the classes believed they would be a good organization to donate to. Emergency services in LaSalle and Windsor have received donations in previous years.

“It’s about giving back to the community,” she said.

Bruce Krauter, chief of Essex-Windsor EMS, said such a donation is very important to someone who is in need. It means a lot to the children and parents, he said.

Krauter praised the Villanova students, stating it shows they are both caring and community leaders for undertaking such a project.

Staff from Essex-Windsor EMS will give out the stuffed “comfort dogs” to children who have been in an accident or are in another crisis situation.

Evening accident sends two people to hospital

 

 

A two-vehicle accident in McGregor late Tuesday afternoon has resulted in two people being sent to hospital with serious injuries.

The Amherstburg Police Service states that at approximately 5:28 p.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the intersection of Middle Side Road (County Road 10) and Concession 8 North for a two-vehicle motor vehicle accident with injuries.

The Amherstburg Fire Department and Essex-Windsor EMS also attended the scene with the fire department extricating a 66-year-old man from his 2008 red Ford Ranger. Police say he was transported to hospital, as was the driver of the other vehicle, a 2002 beige Dodge Dakota. Injuries are described by Amherstburg police as serious, but non-life threatening.

According to the Amherstburg Police Service, investigation showed that the driver of the Dakota was southbound on Concession 8 North and allegedly failed to stop at the stop sign at Middle Side Road and struck the Ranger.

The investigation is continuing and Amherstburg police say that charges are pending.

Anyone with information or any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-3622 or Windsor-Essex Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 (TIPS).

County approves new medical tiered response program

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex County council has amended the Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) and it appears that it will benefit local fire departments.

One of these is the Amherstburg fire department, with town council taking credit for pressing the issue with the county.

According to a report from Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter that went before county council earlier this month, Essex-Windsor EMS as well as the county and Windsor fire services “have a long-standing agreement in which the fire services are notified, or otherwise known as tiered, for medical responses. The agreements are provided to the Central Ambulance Communication Centre as a directive for communicators to follow when requesting assistance from fire services.”

Krauter noted in his report that the criteria of medical tiered response changed over a 24-year period among the various individual fire services until 2015.

“The variety of the criteria resulted in confusion of the communicators and responding paramedics alike, therefore in 2015 the Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) was unified and formalized across the city and county fire services,” Krauter stated in his report. “The unification created a consistent approach across all municipalities and fire services.”

Krauter also noted that the 2015 MTRA introduced “the unified medical direction, continued quality assurance and call auditing. This unification and consistent approach has improved patient care and is one of the leading factors in the increased sudden cardiac arrest survival rates, year over year.”

Krauter added: “Since the inception of the 2015 MTRA the EWEMS call volume has increased, on average, 6-8 per cent. As discussed in the 2018 budget deliberations, the increase in call volume has put pressure on not only EWEMS but also the local fire services, whom are participants in the MTRA.”

While local fire departments can still respond to Code 4 calls when EMS staff is depleted, they would not be dispatched to medical facilities where doctors and nurses are already on site.

As a general rule, fire departments should not be dispatched to doctor’s offices, dentists offices, Family Health Teams, nurse practitioner-led clinics, hospitals, hospices or community health centres, Krauter’s reported added.

“This additional clause is expected to reduce the responses to those locations where a higher medical authority is on scene and able to provide a higher medical intervention before EMS arrival,” Krauter stated. “The amended Medical Tiered Response Agreement is expected to maintain the excellent services our fire services provide across the Essex-Windsor region while maintaining their local services in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. The Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreements are currently in the approval process in their respective municipalities. Once approved, they become part of the EWEMS deployment plan and are delivered to the Windsor Central Ambulance Communication Centre for implementation. It is the anticipated the MTRA can be delivered with in the next three to four weeks.”

The town has spent $70,000 over the last couple of years on medical calls with the new agreement calling for a reduction of almost half of that.

Councillor Rick Fryer said every municipality should be paying its fair share and the new agreement will allow for a more equitable distribution of costs.

“I know this was not well received at first and (the county) was not too impressed with our council but we did the job for our residents,” said Fryer.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the new agreement won’t address off-load delays at area hospitals, but will address many of the town’s concerns.

“It’s a good thing we brought it up and frankly, we got what we asked for,” he said.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone anticipated a favourable financial impact for the town and said it will lessen the impact on local ratepayers.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.