By Sarah Klein
A new protocol is in place to assist Winnipeg’s homeless population and safely transport them to a shelter when in need.
The ‘voluntary transport to drop-in shelters protocol’ allows Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service paramedics or firefighter-paramedics to transport the patient to a drop-in shelter instead of a hospital if their assessment warrants it.
The change also frees up emergency responders to better utilize their time to focus on life-saving situations.
The city is working with three community partner organizations on the initiative, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Main Street Project and The Salvation Army.
The protocol uses existing resources available to first responders in partnership with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
WFPS personnel will remain with the patient until the community partner arrives on scene and transports the patient to one of three drop-in shelters based on availability and location.
The city says the new protocol has been in place since January 24, 2018 and has transported 22 people to drop-in shelters so far.