Ambulances to be equipped with kits to help at mass incidents
Beginning this week, paramedics in Guelph-Wellington will be equipped with kits to help in mass incidents, such as shootings or car accidents with multiple victims.
The union representing paramedics says the kits don’t add much to the scene, where more paramedics are needed over more supplies.
They’re called ‘Stop the Bleed’ kits, and each ambulance will be equipped with five of them.
Guelph-Wellington paramedics say they include pressure dressings, gloves and pads so that bystanders at the scene can help while paramedics assess other patients.
Chief Stephen Dewar says that the kits could save a life.
“We developed our own throw kits, so these are not expensive, about $2.30 worth of bandages and gloves that we can throw out and people who are with somebody that’s hurt can apply bandages, stop the bleeding and hold us off until paramedics can arrive,” he explains.
The service consulted others in Toronto and Las Vegas when compiling the kits, with the total cost amounting to about $500.
Still, the union says that the value added is not worth the cost.
“I understand what the idea was behind it, I just don’t feel as if it adds significant value to that whole process in a chaotic situation such as that,” says Grant Miller, president of OPSEU 231. “There are other areas where that money could be spent more effectively.”
Miller says what’s really needed is more staff and extra ambulances to service the area.