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YK emergency responders struggling with number of calls

The City of Yellowknife says emergency responders are receiving high volumes of emergency calls and are under increasing pressure due to COVID-19.

Officials are asking the public to help ensure that first responders reach those who need it by following simple steps when determining if they need an ambulance.

In a statement, the municipality says an ambulance should only be called in an emergency for a person who needs emergency medical assistance.

“If we can reduce the number of calls and call-outs for incidents that do not require an emergency response, we can improve the availability of services to those who need it most,” the statement continues.

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The city asks that when deciding if an ambulance is necessary, residents should consider if the person requires immediate medical services; could they be safely transported in a private vehicle; or could an appointment be made with a family physician or walk-in clinic instead?

An ambulance should be called for a life-threatening emergency, says the city.

That includes if the person is experiencing chest pain or chest tightness; sudden numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg; large burns; trauma; severe bleeding; difficulty breathing; extreme pain; or, unconsciousness.

They are reiterating that an ambulance should not be called to treat minor cuts or abrasions, to get quicker attention in the emergency room, or for nuisances that are not medical emergencies.

Individuals who are at risk, vulnerable or street-involved and who need help getting to a safe location are asked to reach out to the Yellowknife Street Outreach program.

Residents who see someone in need of assistance that isn’t a medical emergency, are asked to call (867) 445-7202.

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