GUELPH POLITICAST #276 – Paramedics and the Pandemic

We’ve kind of forgotten about paramedics, haven’t we? We’ve venerated the doctors and nurses in our hospitals, hailed the overworked and underpaid staff at long-term care homes, and made celebrities out of medical officers of health. In those terms, our paramedics have been the forgotten spoke in the wheel of healthcare this pandemic, so it’s a good thing that they have a whole week dedicated to their work.

Technically, Paramedic Services Week just wrapped up this past Saturday, but under the theory that it’s never too late to pay tribute to our heroes, we’re going to talk to Chief Stephen Dewar from Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services on this week’s podcast. In a time of pandemic, who else voluntarily walks into multiple homes and residential settings to perform medical services with the knowledge that they might be exposing themselves to a deadly virus?

Next week at Committee of the Whole, council will receive the 2020 performance statistics and information for Paramedic Services, and it turns out that they managed to meet their targets and even exceeded them in a couple of categories last year. That’s not surprising news, but it might be more surprising when you consider all the additional work that paramedics have been called upon to perform during the pandemic, not to mention the demands of the pandemic itself.

On this podcast, Chief Dewar will talk about how the service has maintained its response times, their new procedures because of COVID, and the mental health stresses caused by the pandemic. He will also talk about servicing a rapidly growing community like ours, and whether Paramedic Services is getting all the help it needs. And finally, he will talk about how the pandemic might have changed the delivery of emergency services forever, and what Dewar has learned about his job in the last year.

So let’s talk about delivering emergency services on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!

Next week’s Committee of the Whole will receive the updated performance statistics for Paramedic Services. You can learn more about Guelph Wellington Pandemic Services at their page on the City’s website, and you can visit some of the great information from Paramedic Services Week at the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs website.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

Photo courtesy of Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services Twitter page.

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