If the Ebola virus was to ever find its way to Winnipeg, firefighters and paramedics will be ready.

“I would like to reassure the public that the WFPS has been working closely with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in the proactive development of processes for identifying potential cases of Ebola and the required safety equipment needed to safely transport suspected cases to health-care facility,” said WFPS Acting Assistant Chief Tom Wallace. “WFPS first responders are currently receiving the required training and supplies needed to protect themselves in the line of duty as well as upholding public safety.”

Winnipeg is one of the first Canadian cities to begin planning for potential Ebola cases.

Measures include:

  • WFPS 911 communications will screen callers to identify those who may have Ebola Virus Disease symptoms. If the patient has a positive travel history and exhibits specific clinical criteria including a high fever, the incident will be flagged for response by predetermined paramedic resources using a specific ambulance.
  • WFPS Medical Supervisors are currently engaged in training all paramedics on the proper use of specific personal protection equipment that will be provided by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
  • Plans are in place to provide on-shift training in the near future related to the protective equipment needed by firefighter primary care paramedics.

Thomas Eric Duncan was a Liberian who became the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States on September 30, 2014. He died on October 8. Since then, two health care workers who cared for Duncan has been diagnosed with the disease.