B.C. paramedics, dispatchers responded to record-setting 35,525 overdose calls in 2021

published on January 12, 2022 by Elizabeth McSheffrey in Global News

Paramedics and medical dispatchers in B.C. responded to a record-setting 35,525 overdose calls last year.

It’s an increase of 31 per cent from 2020, said BC Emergency Health Services in a Wednesday news release.

Surrey saw the greatest increase with a total of 3,674 calls — 50 per cent more than 2020.

“They have to make sure that they don’t partake in this alone,” said paramedic Brian Twaites.

“They need to have somebody with them so that if that horrible situation of an actual overdose happens, somebody is able to phone 911.”

Overdose calls have “steadily increased” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to BCEHS, and every health region in the province reported an increase in 2021…

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