By John Togyi, Community Paramedic and Acting Paramedic Chief
To the residents of the Omineca Health Region,
I am writing on behalf of the BC Emergency Health Services’ paramedics stationed here in Vanderhoof.
Please know we are here to serve, and the best way for you to help all of us is to ensure that you follow the precautions laid out by BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry: Stay home and maintain physical and social distancing from others.
I also want to provide some re-assurance and clarity to the community.
As paramedics, we are trained to do scene assessment and, in conjunction with our call takers and dispatchers, we often put on our full personal protective equipment (PPE).
Our full PPE includes safety glasses, face shield, N-95 mask and a gown. Please don’t take offence or panic at the sight of us in this gear, as we put it on to protect not only ourselves, but our patients and our families.
As a paramedic crew, we are no different than you in that we have spouses, children, grandparents and people in our lives who are immunocompromised.
Some of us even fall into high risk groups ourselves, being diabetic or suffering from asthma. It is important that we protect ourselves so that we can continue to stay on the job and respond to 9-1-1 calls as they come in.
We stay on the job, so you should stay home for us.