It’s been two weeks since Vancouver Fire brought in a three-person medic team in the downtown eastside to fight the sky-rocketing number of overdose calls.
The medic team was staffed part-time last month.
Two weeks ago it went into full-swing 24/7.
Since then, Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire says it’s made a significant impact.
“Our monthly call volume in December was close to 1,500, divide that by two apparatus and we’re looking at over 700 calls a month for each apparatus. With that third and now that it’s taking an even share of the call volume, let’s say we’re on track for another 1,500 calls this month, each apparatus would only be attending 500 a month instead of 700 or 750.”
Gormick says with calls now spread out more evenly, he’s hoping it means less stress for fighters.
“It’s increasing our ability to provide patient care to the people in the downtown eastside because we have more staff time responding in a timely fashion, and it’s increasing our capacity to respond to events elsewhere in the city as well.”
The team was formed after the City of Vancouver approved a property tax increase of 0.5 per cent to help deal with the overdose crisis.