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Dufferin Paramedic Services receives $2.9 million in funding

April 1, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Written By Paula Brown

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dufferin Paramedic Services will be seeing an expansion to its current Community Paramedic Program, after receiving new funding from the Ontario government. 

Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, Dufferin County Warden Darren White, and Dufferin County EMS Chief Tom Reid announced the over $2.9 million in funding, which will span over four years, virtually last Friday (March 25). 

The funding will go towards offering more care to seniors in the community who are on waitlists for long-term care homes or in need of extra assistance through the Community Paramedic Program. 

“If you take a look at long term care, we’re starting to see a movement to not making them as densely populated as what they previous had been, so there’s a lot of people in the community that either are waiting for long term care or they are close to going to long term care,” Dufferin EMS Chief Tom Reid tells the Free Press. “A program like this is targeting, making sure, our most vulnerable and those that are at higher risk, are support and cared for on a very consistent and reliable basis.” 

“This is positive news for many seniors and families throughout Dufferin County,” said Jones in a press release. 

“The paramedicine home visiting program was a pilot project in Dufferin, and because of that success we now have an expanded program, and more communities across Ontario to support vulnerable seniors living at home.”

The Dufferin County Community Paramedic Program was launched in 2015 and serves clients with high-risk or complex medical issues such as congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as providing services including wellness-checks, in home blood work, urine tests, and helping clients connect with health care
practitioners.  

Speaking with the Free Press, Chief Reid explained how the program was previously handled by one community paramedic, who managed service for all individuals in the program. The funding he said, will help to increase staffing in the program, as Dufferin Paramedic Service sees significant increase in its workload with the pandemic. 

 “We will now have three paramedics working, trying to support people in their home so it’s a significant enhancement to our program,” said Reid.

With the Community Paramedic Program, Reid added that there has been a significant decrease what he calls “default 9-1-1” calls to Dufferin EMS. 

Cara Burleigh, a Dufferin Community Paramedic, in the press release for the funding announcement also noted how the program helps reduce the number of unnecessary visits to local emergency departments. 

The paramedicine program takes a preventative approach to healthcare, addressing smaller issues before they grow into larger ones.

Seniors eligible for the program can be referred by community partners including LHIN, a primary care physician, and hospital staff. 

A referral form can be found at the Community Paramedic Program page of the Dufferin County website. 

To contact Dufferin Paramedic Services for more information call 519-941-0509 or email communityparamedic@dufferincounty.ca



         

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