Overdose response calls locally and provincially reached record levels last year, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.
In Cranbrook, overdose response calls rose to 191 in 2021, an 83 per cent increase over 104 calls in 2020. Beyond overdose response, paramedics attended 3,158 calls for service in the city last year, an increase from 2,804 in 2020, according to BC EHS.
In Kimberley, BC EHS reported 11 overdose response calls in 2021, a drop from 16 in 2020. Total calls for paramedic service in the city over the year were logged at 919, a slight dip from 958 in 2020.
Other communities in the East Kootenay, such as Fernie, Elkford, Sparwood and Invermere weren’t included in the BC EHS overdose response call statistics.
Regionally, Interior Health experienced a 29 per cent increase in overdose response calls, with 5,417. Kelowna and Kamloops had the highest overdose call volumes in the region at 1,588 and 1,068, respectively.
Provincially, BC EHS reported 35, 525 overdose response calls in 2021, up 31 per cent over 27, 068 calls in 2020. The 2021 overdose response call volume averages to 97 calls a day.
Vancouver reported the highest volume of overdose response calls at 9,993, a 23 per cent increase over 2020.