Flu Outbreak Overextends EMS

After several flu-outbreaks to ring in the New Year, 22 new paramedics is just what the doctor ordered for Essex-Windsor EMS.

They've been sworn in just in time as January was a rough month for emergency responders with flu outbreaks causing a back-log at area hospitals.

Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter says the flu bug bit his staff as well and the added depth is going to help make sure they won't be short-handed again. "It has been a challenge this year with the offloading delays this flu season, Not only with people coming into the hospital, but you have to understand with a workforce of around 250 paramedics, they get sick too."

Krauter says flu numbers aren't much higher this year, but when there's an outbreak, it puts a strain on the system. "We peaked quite quickly and now it is somewhat being minimized, but the flu season is still here. So I want to get the message out that if it's not an emergency, see your primary care provider, your pharmacy, or an urgent care clinic."

In January,  Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj told AM800 News numbers were 15% higher than the manageable number of patients.


With files from AM800's Peter Langille