Local Paramedics Seeking Community Support

Published on 3 April 2020

Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services are preparing for an increase in calls for service due to the spread of COVID-19.

During this time, it is more important than ever that residents of Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry only call 911 for emergencies.

“We are expecting call volume to climb dramatically in the next few weeks and months,” said Paramedic Chief Bill Lister. “We are preparing to meet that demand, but we need the support, understanding, and patience of residents.

“The community is already working together to ‘flatten the curve,’ which will help reduce the number of people asking for medical help at the same time. Avoiding unnecessary 911 calls is another way residents can contribute to the fight against this pandemic.”

In addition to hiring staff and putting more ambulances on the road, Paramedic Services are partnering with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to test at-risk individuals in their homes and working with long-term care facilities to keep the elderly out of the hospital.

Health partners have also prepared for an increase in demand by postponing elective surgeries, discharging patients from hospitals, expanding Telehealth services, and opening assessment centres.

Residents should only call 911 when they…

  • may be having a heart attack or stroke,
  • have been unconscious, or
  • are having severe, unexplained shortness of breath.

Calls to 911 about flu symptoms will likely not require a hospital visit.

Alternatives to calling 911 include…

  • calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
  • travelling for medical care by taxi or bus, or calling a friend for a ride
  • using the online self-assessment tool for COVID-19 symptoms

Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services provides 24-hour, 365-day emergency coverage to 111,000 residents and visitors in the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.

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