Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Following a near-fatal drug exposure that a paramedic in Calgary recently experienced on the job, the Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) activated its own eventual fund to raise money to support the worker.
Paramedic, identified only as Ryan B, recovered from the exposure at home under medical oversight with support from his partner and two daughters, according to an APA Facebook post dated September 3, 2017. Most information about the incident has not been made available to the public, including the drug involved in the date when it occurred. “right now, the paramedic community is just pulling together to provide some relief and support for Ryan and his family,” the APA says.
The APA activated fundraising efforts from September 1 to September 7, 2017 via the Alberta Help fund, a non-profit society that the Association funded, initially to raise money for the families of victims of the line-of-duty deaths. The HELP fund, as previously raised more than $18,000 in donations for victim surviving family in 2000 Dean and support of the construction of a registry of psychologists specializing in paramedic treatment last year, according to the APA website.
An e-mailed response from Alberta Health Services (AHS) Ryan B’s employer, says it is reviewing the incident.
Health Sciences Association of Alberta VP Trudy Thomson reports that her union is working with AHS and Ryan B regarding the incident. Thomson points out that the risk of toxic exposure has become “more of a reality” for first responders today. “Their likelihood of being exposed is much greater than the public.”
Our first responders never know what they’re walking into and can never be totally prepared for everything. Training is key in this day and age but support from the provincial, municipal and federal governments is necessary to provide protection to those on the front line.
It is sad that an association has to be the one to try and raise money for someone on the front line who has been received some type of occupational illness through possible exposure, an accident/ incident on the job. Why is this allowed unchecked!
All of us appreciate front-line responders whether they be police, firefighters, or paramedics. We salute them but we need to do more. Let us live in a country where we respect and honour those that put their lives on the line every day and protect them through medical treatment and recognize all the particular reasonable occupational illnesses within a be chemical, physical, biological and ensure that they receive the treatment they require.
This is not just an Alberta issue but one right across the country. Let’s protect those who put their lives on the line for us everyday.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.