Emergency Medical Services are responsible for the emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured both within Yukon and to specialist care in Southern Canada. Tagish is served by volunteer emergency medical responders (EMR) who are trained by the Government of Yukon and who work closely with nurses in the Carcross Health Centre. Someone who is sick or injured is assessed and supported by the EMRs from Tagish and then transported for further assessment and treatment at the Carcross Health Centre. Once assessed and treated and, If their condition warrants, the person will be transported to Whitehorse General Hospital by the Tagish EMS crew and possibly a nurse from the Health Centre. If the severity of the circumstances are urgent Yukon Emergency Medical Services personnel with Advanced Life Support qualifications will be requested from Whitehorse and will either meet the Tagish ambulance en route or will arrive by air.
The Tagish EMS has been in existence now for 20 years, serving the area from the Alaska Highway at Jake's Corner to the BC border on the Atlin Road and along the Carcross Tagish Road to Crag Lake. Depending upon the nature of an incident and the availability of services in Carcross, they may be called upon to go to Carcross and along the Skagway Road to the Alaskan Border. Ambulance services also supports the Volunteer Fire Department on their callouts.
Volunteers work on an on call schedule, normally for a 24 hour period. This means that for this period, they must be available in the community to respond to a call. The ambulance is maintained at the Fire Hall and all activity is initiated there. Members receive $3. 75 for each hour they are on call and receive an hourly honoraria when responding to an emergency call. Tagish receives , on average, 40-50 calls annually.
Being a volunteer is a serious commitment but provides the opportunity to contribute to the community in a way not many are able to do. Each volunteer receives the following training and qualifications:
Standard First Aid (SFA)
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
Class IV Driving Licence
International Association of Professional Drivers course. (IAPD)
Not all volunteers are emergency responders. Some volunteers are drivers only and do not need the EMR course.
Training is an important component for all Emergency Medical Responders and twice monthly training meetings are
designed to keep all skills sharp and to keep up to date on the latest advances in medical care.