Urgences-santé made over 25,000 COVID-19-related transits since start of pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, Urgences-santé says its emergency medical dispatchers responded to over 30,000 COVID-19-related calls in the past year, while US paramedics transported more than 25,800 citizens suspected of having COVID-19.

Presenting the highlights of the agency’s past 12 months on March 11 – coinciding with the first anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic – the agency’s acting president and CEO said they had to adapt quickly to the changes brought about by the pandemic in order to continue with US’s primary mission.

“As an organization working in the pre-hospital sector, it was our duty to be there for the people of Montreal and Laval, ground zero for the pandemic in Quebec,” said Yvan Gendron.

“To this end, we needed well-informed emergency medical dispatchers, safe and healthy paramedics, disinfected ambulances and adequate equipment in sufficient quantities.

“From the onset of the pandemic, employees have shown their willingness to continue providing the best possible services to the public and have devoted themselves to patients, vulnerable people and those affected by this virus, and for that, they have my deepest gratitude,” he added.

In the past year, emergency medical dispatchers at US responded to over 30,000 COVID-19-related calls, and paramedics transported more than 25,800 citizens suspected of having COVID-19.

“At the height of the crisis, in April and May 2020, over 50 per cent of transits were related to COVID-19.” said Gendron. “At times, we recorded nearly 200 transits a day for people potentially infected with COVID-19.”

He noted that in a pandemic setting, ambulances must be disinfected even more carefully so as not to become a transmission vector.

As such, over the past year US employees cleaned and readied vehicles nearly 85,000 times.

In addition to its primary mission, Gendron said Urgences-santé lent a hand to the health network.

Since last Oct. 6, he noted that Urgences-santé paramedics conducted more than 11,300 screenings in the five Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS) and the Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS) of each territory served.