Yellowknife appeals to residents to make sure they need an ambulance when they call for one

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The City of Yellowknife says emergency responders are receiving a high volume of calls and is asking residents to make sure they need an ambulance when they call for one. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)
The City of Yellowknife says emergency responders are receiving a high volume of calls and is asking residents to make sure they need an ambulance when they call for one. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)

In the hope of improving service to people who need it most, the City of Yellowknife is asking residents to make sure they need an ambulance when they call for one.

Emergency responders are receiving high volumes of emergency calls and are under increasing pressure due to COVID-19, the city said in a Friday news release.

It said it can improve the availability of the ambulance service to those who need it most if it can cut down the number of calls and call-outs for incidents that don't require an emergency response.

The city provided a list of questions to consider when deciding whether or not to call an ambulance.

  • Does the person require immediate medical services?

  • Could they be safely transported in a private vehicle?

  • Could an appointment be made with a family physician or walk-in clinic instead?

It added that an ambulance should be called for any life-threatening emergency or if someone is experiencing any of the following:

  • Chest pain or chest tightness.

  • Sudden numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg.

  • Large burns.

  • Serious accidents or trauma.

  • Severe bleeding.

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Extreme pain.

  • Unconsciousness.

The news release stated an ambulance should not be called to treat minor cuts and abrasions, or to deal with public nuisances that are not medical emergencies.

The city said that if people see someone in need of assistance, and it's not a medical emergency, to consider calling the Yellowknife Street Outreach program at (867) 445-7202. The program helps at-risk, vulnerable or street-involved people and who need help getting to a safe location.

It said when in doubt, always call 9-1-1 or 873-2222.

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