While many Ontario paramedics worry they will run out of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the next couple of weeks, the President of the Ontario Paramedics Association says Ottawa is well-stocked in comparison.
Darryl Wilton says Ottawa has a mega-headquarters with a massive storage facility for all of its PPE, and although that supply would typically last for the entire year, he believes it can get medical professionals in the city through the next four-and-a-half months.
"That's if we can maintain very efficient use of that equipment on calls and reduce the unnecessary use, or for example, if you tear a PPE or something and it has to be replaced," Wilton tells 1310 NEWS' The Rob Snow Show. "So we're being very cautious to be able to maintain that."
Wilton says between 5 and 20 per cent of paramedics in big Ontario cities like Ottawa have had to go into isolation after being exposed to a possible COVID-19 patient, so it's put additional stress on the system.
Most paramedics in Ontario are working 80 to 90-hour workweeks.
In Ottawa, paramedics have been responding to about 400 calls per day, which Wilton says isn't unusual, but with a shorter staff and some of those calls being COVID-19-related, it's a challenge.