Paramedics working alongside firefighters battling wildfires
Paramedics are trying a new approach by working close to firefighters to keep them safe while they battle blazes across Ontario
By EMS1 Staff
RENFREW, Ontario — A group of paramedics are working to keep firefighters safe with their new approach of keeping close to them while they battle wildfires.
CBC reported that Renfrew paramedics were prompted by the severe wildfires raging across Ontario to use their special team “Sierra,” a specialized team of paramedics that works in remote areas, to stand side-by-side with firefighters and treat any medical emergencies that arise as quickly as possible.
Renfrew County Chief Paramedic Mike Nolan said he believes it’s the first time paramedics in the area have done anything like this.
"Our goal is to stay back, allow them to do their job," he said. "Should one of those firefighters be consumed by smoke, for example, have a medical emergency or even step on a bees nest and have an anaphylactic reaction, we're prepared to go right to the individual, regardless of the situation."
Nolan said the team has flown out several firefighters for back and knee injuries and treated several responders for heat exhaustion.
He added that Sierra allows paramedics in surrounding areas to stay put in the communities that need them, and provides better, quicker care to firefighters.