Exclusive – Weather and High Call Volume Lead to “Extended Response Times” Says Northumberland County Chief Paramedic

In Editor Choice, Local

Today’s Northumberland has learned more about the death of a client at Transition House on Christmas.

Susan Brown, Chief Paramedic for Northumberland County said a high volume call and weather conditions lead to extended response times including a 38-minute delayed response to Transition House.

The man believed to be in his 60’s was “experiencing a persistent health issue over several days.”

Cental Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) in Lindsay which receives and dispatches calls for Northumberland County Paramedics received a call at 8:56 p.m. from Transition House stating a man believed to be in his 60’s was “experiencing a persistent health issue over several days.”

A Code 4 is the highest priority of call for a patient, but dispatch conducted an assessment over the phone and triaged the call as a Code 3, which is urgent, but non-life threatening.

”Based on this, it would be addressed by the next available ambulance, with other services (like fire department) not initially dispatched.”

CACC called back at 9:13 to check on the individual while they awaited an available ambulance and confirmed there had been no change in the individual’s condition so the call was held as a Code 3 response.

A paramedic crew became available and was dispatched at 9:29 p.m., and arrived on-scene at 9:34 p.m.

“As paramedics were arriving, the individual’s condition changed. This change prompted the crew to call CACC to arrange Fire Department support as a Code 4.”

The Cobourg Fire Department was dispatched at 9:35 p.m. and arrived a short time later.

Paramedics and firefighters initially treated the individual at the scene for approximately 30-minutes prior to transport to the hospital where the individual was pronounced deceased.

Brown stated, “only in cases where a call is triaged as life-threatening is tiered response (fire department) activated.”

“A high volume of emergency calls, along with weather conditions, led to cases of extended response timelines on December 25th,” said Brown.


Client Dies At Transition House on Christmas

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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