Urgences-Sante receiving hundreds of calls an hour on icy days

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CTV Montreal


Published Saturday, January 26, 2019 5:22PM EST


Last Updated Saturday, January 26, 2019 6:27PM EST

On a week of icy roads and sidewalks, Urgences-Sante received thousands of calls for people who had slipped and fallen.

At some points, they were getting hundreds of calls an hour, putting a strain on paramedics and workers.

“Missed lunches, overtime, and call after call,” said Benoit Garneau, who works with Urgences-Sante. 

“I usually finish at three,” said paramedic Aprille Lapid, who has been on the job for just six months. “That hasn’t been happening.”

On Saturday, CTV Montreal’s Matt Grillo spent a couple of hours with the emergency service as they responded to calls around the city. 

The day itself was less busy than usual.

One call was in response to a 92-year-old man. 

“He felt dizzy and he fell on the floor and hit the back of his head,” said Garneau. 

Paramedics urge the public to only call 911 when it’s an emergency.

“If it’s not an emergency, there will be some delays,” said Garneau. 

Once at the scene, they then have to assess the situation. 

“You really got to adapt to the environment, the different types of clientele, patients, and language barrier,” Lapid said. 

Despite the poor weather and demand for their services, Urgences-Sante paramedics are intent on helping Montrealers in need.

“We have to do our mission,” Garneau said. “We have patients to treat and transport to hospitals, and that’s what we do.”





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