North Queens get their medical first responders back

Red fire trucks lined up outside North Queens station.
Trucks outside North Queens station. Photo courtesy of North Queens Fire Department.
Ed Halverson - QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 02-10-2020

North Queens will soon see the return of their medical first responders.

Members of the North Queens volunteer fire department joined crews from across Queens at the Liverpool Fire Hall Thursday night to receive training on the proper use of personal protective equipment.

North Queens Fire Chief Chris Wolfe was one of those attending. He describes the evening.

“They face-fitted us with the N-95 masks and gave us our gowns and other PPE that will allow us to answer cardiac arrest calls and motor vehicle collisions,” said Wolfe.

As first reported here earlier this week, medical first responders or MFRs from across the province were told at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic they were not to respond to any calls aside from a motor vehicle collision.

This meant during an emergency, someone in Caledonia could wait 40 minutes or more for the nearest ambulance to arrive.

MFRs are generally volunteer fire fighters with the medical training necessary to stabilize someone until paramedics can arrive. They normally respond to any kind of medical emergency when called out.

Wolfe says the service still has restrictions, but can now respond to situations involving cardiac arrest in addition to motor vehicle collisions.

“The plan is to keep implementing different types of calls until we’re fully back to operation,” said Wolfe.

He says the departments have received a stock of the necessary PPEs and are now just waiting to hear the records of their training has been received by the Emergency Measures office so they can begin responding to calls again.

“Well, I feel a little bit more confident that things are on the go,” said Wolfe. “And hopefully it’s not too long and we’ll be back to full service in the North Queens area.”

Reported by Ed Halverson 
Twitter: @edwardhalverson