READ MORE: Alberta gives firefighters access to naloxone kits as fentanyl overdose deaths rise Alberta Health Services, along with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), are investigating the incident, according to the vice-president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the labour union which represents paramedics in the province. “We’re well aware of the incident and our staff are actively involved in this,” Trudy Thomson said. “Will follow up after the fact. He’s getting care and we’re pleased about that. In terms of what happens next, we won’t know until those investigations are fully completed.” Thomson confirmed the incident happened this week, but didn’t know how it happened or what drug was involved. She said the union asked for the OHS investigation, which was granted on Friday. That investigation would be “a much more extensive investigation, so that will identify bigger or more broader issues if there [are] any.” Thomson said first responders risking encounters with drugs is a “big concern” for the union, a sentiment echoed by the Alberta College of Paramadics. “As drug potencies increase, so too does their danger, which creates the potential for a challenging situation for practitioners responding to those calls,” executive director and acting registrar Becky Donelon said in an emailed statement. “When it comes to the men and women who put their lives on the line for Albertans, more can always be done to ensure they return safely to their families at the end of their shifts. “As the regulator for the profession, the college continues to work to address areas of practice that can help improve the safety of paramedics in the interest of practitioners and the public they so diligently serve.” Donelon added the college sends its sympathies to Ryan and his family as they deal with the difficult situation. The paramedic association is asking Albertans to contribute to a HELP Fund through Alberta Help Fund as the family deals with Ryan’s ailing health.
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