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New Brunswick paramedics raise concerns about new ambulance dispatch system


The Paramedic Association of New Brunswick is now weighing in on a new 911-ambulance dispatch system called Logis that came online in early January.

“There is absolutely no way that this organization should be allowed to continue on with this Logis system,” said Chris Hood, executive director for The Paramedic Association of New Brunswick.

He cites problems like incorrect routing information, dispatching ambulances that are further away from the call and a lack of information.

“Paramedics working in ambulances don’t know what’s going on around them,” said Hood. “So in situations where they might not be the closet ambulance, nobody else in the system in the area knows they’re being dispatched to a paramedic response. So they, in fact, may not be the closest unit, but no body else knows about it."

He notes that, “if paramedics can’t even know where the calls are, how are they expected to respond to them?”

As CTV Atlantic first reported Wednesday, fire departments are bringing up their own issue: a drop in medical calls since the new system came into effect.

“Our call volume for medical calls went down approximately one call per day,” said Robin True, chief of Riverview Fire and Rescue.

Other stations are seeing no calls at all.

“It’s not unusual for us not to get a call, maybe for two weeks, but there’s been nothing,” said Greg Partridge, chief of Dorchester Fire and Rescue.

Fire Chief Greg Partridge of Dorchester Fire and Rescue is pictured on Feb. 1, 2023. (Alana Pickrell/CTV)

The Paramedic Association says cellular technology is now being used for dispatch and makes it unreliable especially in rural areas like Deer Island.

“The cellular coverage is terrible and the paramedic crews don’t receive notification of their calls of service and three or four minutes after the dispatch centre has sent the call via the cellular technology, they’ll get a call from dispatch saying, ‘Where are you? Why haven’t you responded to the call?’ And they’re like, ‘We didn’t even know there was a call because our cellular phones don’t really work on the island unless we stand on the roof of the ambulance station,’” said Hood.

He says that he’s spoken with multiple managers who are upset with the new system, but are unable to speak out publically.

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said. “Let’s own up to the fact that this was a mistake. Let’s go back to what we were doing. Let’s stop the bleeding, because right now the system is bleeding.”

Adding, “To me, it’s like your computer when you do a major upgrade and it doesn’t work. You go back to a reset point and you go back to the old system and then you fix it before you implement it.”

CTV News has been asking for information from the Department of Justice and Public Safety since Tuesday, informing them about the safety issues being raised, however, government refused to comment and said inquires should be directed to Medavie Health Services. Top Stories

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