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Ottawa Paramedics ambulance

Councillor Laura Dudas received a first-hand look at the work Ottawa Paramedics do on a daily basis, including the long-wait to offload patients in an emergency department. 

The first term Councillor joined two veteran paramedics for a shift on Ottawa roads Tuesday evening..

First responders are on the frontlines protecting and serving our community.
These men and women face greater mental health issues such as PTSD due to their work. The City, and all levels of government have a role to play in supporting and protecting those that protect us. pic.twitter.com/FnmRQRDqqc

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 14, 2020

On Twitter, Dudas admitted a single shift would not provide her with a full scope of the challenges first responders face, she added “it is incumbent upon me to at least see firsthand the challenges faced by these men and women in uniform.”

While I appreciate that a single shift would never provide me with a full idea of what challenges our City’s first responders face, as I seek to learn more, it is incumbent upon me to at least see firsthand the challenges faced by these men and women in uniform. pic.twitter.com/N3Pt3PNuMk

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 14, 2020

During the shift, the Councillor said the paramedics shared stories about the “sheer volume of calls that come in during a shift” and getting stuck in hospitals.

During a brief downtime, Sable and Gillian speak about the sheer volume of calls that come in during a shift, how breaks are tough to come by because of the volume and getting stuck at hospitals, and how they personally cope with the stress of the job.

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 15, 2020

Dudas said her first call was at a seniors residence, where an elderly woman had fallen. When the paramedics transported the woman to the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Dudas said the paramedics waited “for more than three hours” to offload the patient to nurses.

We head to the Civic Hospital were we join the lineup of Paramedics waiting to triage. We sit there for more than three hours. Finally we are back on the road. pic.twitter.com/2IXOy7k0YH

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 15, 2020

A report to the Community and Protective Services Department in the fall said paramedics spent 32,000 hours waiting to offload patients in the first seven months of 2019.

At the end of the shift just before 3 a.m., Dudas said “this has been an incredibly rewarding and educational experience.”

I have just wrapped up my ride-along with an @OttawaParamedic crew. Going into this, I knew I would be exhausted, both physically and likely emotionally, but this has been an incredibly rewarding and educational experience. pic.twitter.com/Jp0I8KLz4v

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 15, 2020

These men and women in uniform, put their bodies and their minds on the line to protect and serve our communities, it is imperative that at the end of the day, we as a community, as a city, and as a society support them.
With that, I am going to bed. pic.twitter.com/kIdVYcnwPg

— Laura Dudas (@Laura_Dudas) January 15, 2020