Thursday, April 5, 2018

The opioid crisis and its impact on Langley City Fire Rescue Service

One of the things that I’ve noticed since being on council is the rapid increase in incidents that Langley City Fire Rescue Service has responded to over the last four years. The largest increase has been due to medical incidents. This is not surprising giving that there is an opioid crisis in our province.

The Internet Archive saves a point-in-time copy of most websites online. I decided to look up Langley City’s old website, and found Langley City Fire Rescue Service Statistic from 2000. I put together the following chart comparing 2000 to last year. Keep in mind that Langley City’s population has only increased by 9% over the last 17 years.

Langley City Fire Rescue Service Stats: 2000 and 2017. Select chart to enlarge.

The MESA category which includes responding to motor vehicle crashes and medial incidents has seen a 2000% increase since the turn of the century. Other categories of incidents have also increased faster than population growth, but it is the MESA category that stands out.

The opioid crisis is having a profound impact on people in Langley City and throughout our province. It is our first responders who are bearing the brunt of this crisis, and that is not sustainable. Prevention is key. This will require the provincial government and its health authorities to take the lead. Local governments cannot do it alone.

Notes on other categories:
Rescue – Responses including for extrications, water rescues, and confined spaces rescues
Hazmat – Responses to hazardous materials and items incidents
Fire – Responses to building, vehicle, and outdoor fires
Alarms – Responses to fire alarms where there is no fire (such as a fire sprinkler burst)
Other – Responses including to smells/orders, floods, electrical hazards, and burning complaints. Also includes mutual aid.

No comments: