VICTORIA, CANADA - MARCH 25: BC Ambulance Services stock photography session March 25, 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Jeff Vinnick Images)

Paramedics responding to increased volume of overdose calls

Data released by BC Emergency Health Services shows a rising provincial trend of overdose responses

Paramedics in Cranbrook have responded to an increasing amount of overdose calls over the last five years, according to data released by BC Emergency Health Services.

In 2016, paramedics responded to 49 overdose calls in Cranbrook, a figure that doubled up to 104 incidents in 2020.

In Kimberley, paramedics responded to 18 overdose calls in 2016; however, call volumes slightly dipped briefly over the following two years, before climbing back up to 16 in 2020.

Provincially, paramedics responded to 27,067 calls for overdose response in 2020, a 12 per cent increase from the previous year.

“It’s hard for every paramedic who goes to those scenes,” says Penticton paramedic Unit Chief Pat Hussey, in a BC EHS media release, noting that overdose-related calls are becoming more complex with drug toxicity and having to administer multiple doses of nalaxone to patients.

In the Interior Health region, overdose calls have also increased from 2,599 in 2016 to 4,211 in 2020. In Vancouver, B.C.’s largest urban community, paramedics responded to an average of 22 overdose calls a day.

Prior to the onset of the opioid crisis, annual overdose calls fluctuated between 10,000 — 15,000 between 2004-2015.

Overdose calls in Cranbrook

2016 – 49

2017 – 65

2018- 75

2019- 78

2020 – 104

Overdose calls in Kimberley

2016- 18

2017- 10

2018 – 9

2019- 15

2020 – 16



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

The City of Cranbrook has launched its rain barrel rebate program for 2021. (City of Cranbrook file)
Applications open for 2021 rain barrel rebate program in Cranbrook

The program offers 100 rebates of $50 to those collecting rainwater

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 immunizations set to begin for age-based cohorts

Eligible seniors can book appointments through a call centre starting Monday, March 8.

Forty-eight vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read