March 31, 2005 - The Superior North Emergency Medical Service (SNEMS), the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), and the Thunder Bay Central Ambulance Communications Centre (TBCACC) last week completed a "cold" call for a patient suspected of having the Ebola Virus Diseases.

"The exercise was planned so that no one knew in advance," said Wayne Gates, Deputy Chief - Professional Standards. "Our paramedics used proper procedures, including screening and the use of personal protective equipment. The exercise was successful, and we are incorporating lessons learned into our procedures. Readiness exercises will continue."

Neither paramedics, primary health care providers, nor leadership personnel were advised in advance, nor did they know during that it was an exercise. During the exercise, additional paramedics were deployed in the City to ensure that regular operations were not compromised.

"This joint effort between Superior North EMS, TBRHSC, and TBCACC demonstrated our readiness should EVD, real or suspect, appear in our area. Ambulance communications officers, primary health care providers, and our paramedics worked together not knowing at the time it was an exercise," said Norm Gale, Chief of EMS. "The patient received great care and those providing that care were properly protected. I am very happy with the results."


A 9-1-1 call was received by the TBCACC from the TBRHSC's Stroke Clinic advising they had a person that they suspected for Ebola (EVD). The person (an actor) presented with signs and symptoms of the disease and had a history of recent travel to West Africa. The call was received by ambulance communications officers who properly screened the person and assigned the call. The patient was assessed, treated, and transported by paramedics to the TBRHSC ED where handover occurred. A debrief was conducted after the exercise.

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Contact: Wayne Gates, Deputy Chief - Professional Standards, 625-4610 or