Paramdics receive additional funding to help combat COVID

·2 min read

It is a challenging job at the best of times; however, during the current pan-demic, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services have been called on to expand their role in the community to support regional pandemic response needs.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, paramedics have been providing assis-tance with swabbing and patient man-agement needs in congregate settings like workplaces, long-term care and seniors’ facilities.

They have also been conducting wellness checks in area shel-ters, providing emergency transport of COVID-19 positive patients, working with area health-care teams in vaccinations clinics and expanding in-home wellness checks through the innovative Community Paramedicine programs.

Logistics staff have also extended themselves to support long-term care homes with PPE management

“The response of our paramedic staff to the pandemic has been extraordinary,” said Andrew Robert, Director and Chief, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services. “Their roles are challenging at the best of times and dealing with added pressures of the pandemic and safety measures of being in close contact with COVID-19 positive patients has been very tough on their physical and mental health. All our front-line staff are thank-ful for the public support they have re-ceived. We greatly appreciate how our partners and communities continue to support one another as we all work to end this pandemic.”

As a result of the additional burden placed on paramedic services, the County of Simcoe Paramedic Services has received additional one-time funding in the amount of $456,008 from Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN).

The funding will support pandemic activities such as vaccine administration, Community Paramedicine program expansion, and CP education develop-ment within Simcoe County.

The funding was split between three payments from the Central and North Simcoe Muskoka LHINs and will allow future program growth and sustainabil-ity during this crucial time.

“The support and service of our Paramedics is a cornerstone in our fight against COVID-19 and our eventual recovery,” said County Warden George Cornell. “We are immensely grateful to our Paramedics, and we continue to work with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Province to ensure that Paramedics are prioritized in the roll out of vaccinations due to their ex-panded role during this pandemic. We also thank the Province for these additional funds, which will assist the County in providing the necessary increased training, staffing, equipment and admin-istration costs to keep our communities safe.”

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times