Already stretched paramedic services crunched by COVID-19
Paramedics across the country who were already working at capacity say they're being stretched by COVID-19 calls and the extra precautions that come with them.
Paramedic Association of Canada president Dave Deines says major paramedic services routinely find themselves with more calls than ambulances to handle them.
He says the increase in calls in areas hit hard by COVID-19 is putting an added strain on those services.
He has also heard anecdotal reports of people calling 911 for ambulances when they have mild COVID-19 symptoms, further taxing services across the country.
To make matters more complicated, paramedics must now don full protective equipment for any call where they are at risk of being in contact with the virus.
Deines says while it's a necessary effort, it's also very time consuming.