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Paramedic crisis hits Cumberland County

During a March 19 council meeting, Oxford mayor Trish Stewart said that Cumberland County paramedics have told her that at any given time there may not be coverage in Oxford, adding that the majority of their time is spent in the Halifax area. Above is the paramedic base is Oxford.
During a March 19 council meeting, Oxford mayor Trish Stewart said that Cumberland County paramedics have told her that at any given time there may not be coverage in Oxford, adding that the majority of their time is spent in the Halifax area. Above is the paramedic base is Oxford. - Dave Mathieson

OXFORD, N.S. – One half hour. That’s how long it recently took for paramedics to respond to a senior who suffered a serious head injury after falling on the sidewalk near the Scotiabank in Oxford.

“As you know, our ambulance site is about 300 yards from the Bank of Nova Scotia, and it took half an hour for an ambulance to arrive, and she was severely hurt. She had a severe head injury,” said Rick Draper, deputy mayor for the town of Oxford, during the Oxford Town council meeting on March 19.

Draper said the reason for the delay was because paramedics were out of town providing support in another area.

The shortage of paramedics in Cumberland County was raised by mayor Trish Stewart at the council meeting, saying that coverage is at an all-time low in Oxford.

“I’ve had the opportunity to speak to some paramedics who say the majority of their time is spent in the Halifax area,” said Stewart. “And they wanted to alert me and the town that, right now, Cumberland County is not being served.”

She said it’s a serious crisis that needs to be addressed immediately.

“It’s very concerning in our community that, at any given time, there may not be coverage in Oxford,” said Stewart.

She is calling on residents of Oxford, and Cumberland County, to write their MLA.

“I would like to recommend that council, and the general public, contact your MLA to voice your concerns about what is happening in Cumberland County and in the town of Oxford with the coverage of medical first responders,” said Stewart.

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