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Councillor says Fire Services "wasting time" with Naloxone kits

By Nick Seebruch

Published on August 3, 2017

Mark MacDonald addresses reporters outside city hall Friday.

CORNWALL, Ontario -  In an email to Councillors, administration and the media, Councillor Mark MacDonald objected to Cornwall Fire Service getting involved in overdose prevention.

In a media release on Aug. 2 the City of Cornwall announced that its Fire Services had been working with the Eastern Ontario Health unit (EOHU) in order to be able to administer Naloxone in cases of Opiod overdose.

Representatives of the Fire Services said that as first responders, they want to be prepared before overdoses become an issue.

“The Cornwall Fire Service will provide this crucial Opioid overdose treatment before it becomes a major issue in Eastern Ontario,” said Firefighter Eric Richer, CFS Medical Response Team Lead.

“All of our firefighters have received the proper training and providing this service will ensure that citizens get the care they need in a timely manner, supplementing the services that are already provided by Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services,” added Fire Chief Pierre Voisine.

Councillor Mark MacDonald said that this was municipal time and money that could have been better spent.

"The Fire Master Plan (FMP) deals directly with our "needs" and this not one of them," Councillor MacDonald said in an email. "This is one of a number of issues that should be addressed by the new FMP Committee.  The FMP points out very clearly that our citizens would be safer and better served if our fire service was meeting our basic "needs" under the FMP, rather than wasting time doing things that are not mandated.  And since when does our fire service "need" a Medical Response Team Leader.  This is going way beyond our legislative requirements."

The Councillor went on to say that Fire Services was exceeding its legislative needs, while failing to adequately meet basic needs.

"At the present time, our fire service falls short, when it comes to meeting our very basic "need" regarding enough fire fighters responding to Moderate or High Risk calls," he wrote. "This fact alone should send up a huge red flag regarding putting our citizens and the Corporation at risk.  We should be focusing on meeting our basic "needs" when it comes to safety of lives and property."