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Durham paramedics sound alarm about lack of available ambulances

2 "code zeros" in 2 days means no paramedics answered the phone

For the second time in two days, emergency workers in the Durham area said they were in a dire situation with no ambulance available to answer calls.

"Around 12:45pm today the Durham area was on code zero," Durham paramedic his CUPE Local 1764 tweeted on Monday.

Paramedics first notified us of the dangerous situation the night before.

"The Durham area was on code 0 at approximately 6:12 pm (Sunday) evening," he tweeted on Sunday. "This meant that there were zero ambulances available to respond to emergency calls."

Code zero was gone on Tuesday.

"Our paramedics are doing the best they can to handle Code Zero. It's always hard to hear that there are no ambulances in this service," said Union President Niko Georgiadis. said on Tuesday.

“These are difficult situations because when it comes to life-threatening emergencies, paramedics know that seconds matter. Imagine having to wait for an ambulance at 1:00 am... It's a tough time for all of us.”

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Most days in the Durham area There are 32 ambulances patrolling the area, he added.

But he said he was running out of resources.

"This was due to a combination of factors such as delays in unloading at hospitals, and more importantly, there were not enough paramedics on the streets to respond to emergency calls. No,” said Georgiadis.

The Durham Area Emergency Medical Service attributed the problem to "a combination of factors, including hospital offload delays, surges in 911 calls and staffing pressures." criticized. This is not a new problem, nor is it unique to the Durham area.

The current understaffed hospital situation is also a big factor.

“The pressures hospitals are experiencing with issues such as staffing are exacerbating the offload delay problems facing emergency medical services statewide. , are occurring more frequently and for longer periods of time," said the Emergency Medical Service.

"This has a direct impact on the availability of ambulances and paramedics."

CUPE said that "code zero" is one level worse than what is called "code critical". If only one ambulance is available for him.

There is also a "code capacity"—if ambulances he is 6 or less.

"Public safety is threatened when there are fewer ambulances and paramedics available to call 911," the Durham area said of Code Zero.

"It doesn't happen often, but it's very concerning when it happens."