Northumberland Paramedics don state-of-the-art PPE

Three Northumberland Paramedics wearing the new respirators while standing next to an ambulance

Cobourg, ON – January 14, 2021 – Residents can expect to see local paramedics wearing state-of-the-art Powered Air Purified Respirators while responding to calls throughout Northumberland. This new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will ensure optimal safety for paramedics, and for residents requiring emergency first response service, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective this week, Northumberland Paramedics may wear Powered Air Purified Respirators when responding to 9-1-1 calls. These fully-sealed face and head coverings filter and circulate the air breathed by the wearer through a HEPA filter, while protecting the eyes, face, and respiratory system from exposure to air-borne particles that could spread COVID-19. Paramedics will assess each response environment and situation to determine whether respirator equipment or medical-grade disposable PPE would best address the requirements of the call.

In addition to safety enhancements, this equipment will reduce the service’s reliance on disposable PPE, which has been in high-demand across the country during the pandemic, ensuring greater security that a consistent stock of protective equipment is available to paramedics at any given time. After every use, each respirator will be sanitized then reused.

“Power Air Purified Respirators are recognized as a gold standard for safety,” states Chief Susan Brown. “The medical grade disposable PPE that we provide to paramedics is the industry-wide standard for keeping medical professionals safe. This new reusable equipment is about an additional layer of security. Our paramedics are out in the community interacting with many different people in need, and this is one more step we can take to keep them safe while they provide this critical service. While this new PPE may look different than the paramedic uniform that our community is familiar with, this change is simply about enhancing the safety of paramedics and residents during this pandemic, as our team provides the high quality of pre-hospital care that our community expects.”

Funding for this purchase is through the provincial Safe Restart Funding that Northumberland County received in 2020 to respond to COVID-19 impacts.