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Kawartha Lakes paramedics report alarming numbers

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Kawartha Lakes paramedics see some startling trends in their service numbers.

At a Kawartha Lakes Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd, Paramedic Chief Randy Mellow provided councillors with an update on their key performance indicators.

Chief Mellow told councillors their call volumes increased by 15.2 percent in 2021, and their urgent or life-threatening calls increased by 18 percent.

“Something through the pandemic has caused a really interesting, startling, unprecedented increase in call volumes,” Chief Mellow said. “The number of mental health calls are going up, the number of cardiac calls are going up, the number of traumas are going up, everything is going up.”

The paramedic chief then further broke down those numbers.

“We’re having a vehicle movement every 18 minutes, and we’re responding to an urgent or life-threatening call every 34 minutes in 2021, and that’s extremely busy.”

However, he noted they’ve met or exceeded their targets in regards to response times.

The service has been seeing increasing time spent offloading patients to hospitals.

“So far in 2022, the numbers are almost alarming. In 2021, we had a total ambulance offload time in excess of 30 minutes [for] 726 hours throughout the year,” Chief Mellow said. “So far this year, year-to-date, we are at 505 hours just for the first four months. So it’s gone up incredibly.”

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