Lanark paramedics adapt in time of pandemic

Special to WC Online

LANARK COUNTY – The unprecedented challenges of working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic are not for the faint of heart.

Lanark County Paramedics have reacted and adapted to keep our community healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. This week is Paramedic Services Week, providing an opportunity to recognize the Paramedics in Lanark County.

Paramedics respond no matter what. They are at the scene of an emergency, any time, for all causes: car crashes, back country trauma, critical medical events, and mental crisis. These calls now come with the added challenge of providing excellent care with layers of protective gear that make it harder to move, communicate, and see. Paramedics in Lanark have successfully adapted and continue to provide excellent service and care to the residents of Lanark County. 

“Paramedics are on the frontline every day, during unprecedented times, and I am proud of the team we have and their continued ability to rise to any challenge that comes their way,” Almonte General Hospital and Carleton Place and District Hospital president Mary Wilson Trider.

Lanark County Paramedics have also responded in new ways during the pandemic. The Lanark County Community Paramedic Program has expanded to help with COVID-19 testing and assessments. To date, the community paramedics have tested more than 2,100 people in Lanark County.

 “Their work is so important,” Chief Travis Mellema said. “These paramedics are bolstering the ability of our health care system. They have tested patients and staff at long-term care homes, aided with the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Almonte, and they are providing in-home tests to patients, who otherwise, would have an inability to access testing.” 

The community paramedics have also seen a rapid increase in their in-home visit program. Referrals have increased by more than 67 per cent in the first month alone.  The home visits aim to improve the health of high-risk individuals and decrease the need for emergency care. The community paramedic will visit a referred patient as many times as needed. They provide assessment, wellness checks, treatment, or to connect them with community services and supports. The team is expecting to expand their in-home treatment ability even further in the coming weeks.

“As we celebrate Paramedic Services Week, a huge thank you to our dedicated and skilled Lanark County Paramedics,” Trider said.

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