Superior North EMS Reporting Staffing Pressures Due to COVID-19 Isolation

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Superior North EMS

THUNDER BAY – COVID-19 Update – Superior North Emergency Medical Services (SNEMS) report they are experiencing staffing pressures due to COVID-19 isolation.

At this time, service standards continue to be met for urgent calls. Non-urgent calls may experience longer than usual wait times for response. Community members are reminded to continue to use 911 for emergencies.

“I want to assure residents that our paramedics are working very hard and are ready and available to respond when you need them,” said SNEMS Chief Wayne Gates. “To help reduce non-emergency pressure on the system, we are asking residents to only call 911 if you are experiencing an urgent medical emergency.”

SNEMS has measures in place to manage as best as possible, as well as a highly dedicated workforce that is stepping up to cover gaps when it is safe to do so. The community’s support is appreciated. If a situation is not an emergency, please consider one of these options:

  • Primary health care providers
  • 2-1-1
  • walk-in clinics
  • Local pharmacy
  • Ontario Health at 1-866-797-0000

911 gives people priority access to emergency service and should be reserved for those who really need it. Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your problem is serious enough to call 911. The following examples may help you when in determining when to call for 911 medical assistance:

  • When you are experiencing pain or tightness in the chest
  • When you have severe pain
  • When you have shortness of breath
  • When a person is choking or having difficulty breathing
  • When you think you may have broken a bone
  • When you have sudden or severe: headaches, vision problems, weakness, numbness and / or tingling in the arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
  • If your child has diarrhea and vomiting and won’t eat or drink
  • When a baby under six months has a fever over 38.5° c (101° f)