VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – First responders are pleased that in just a month, they’ll have more peace of mind about being exposed to open wounds and needles on the job.
In the past victim’s haven’t had to give a blood sample, but now paramedics and firefighters can get a court order. Before this, first responders would often go months wondering if they had contracted a disease like HIV or Hepatitis.
Paramedic Randy Reinholdt who works in the downtown eastside is often dealing with bad situations.
“Just walking down there you see all the needles so we don’t necessarily even have to be with a patient. They’re on the ground, they’re there when we walk through the door, so the risks are like ten fold for us,” Reinholdt explains.
He has two little girls and when he thought he contracted a disease he had to protect them too. “I go home and the first thing I do is hug and kiss my kids, I didn’t for a week. For me, I understand the risks. For them, they are like why aren’t you hugging us.”
The Emergency Intervention Disclosure Act was passed on May 31, 2012 and will come into play March 2, 2013.
The new regulation sets out the legal and procedural details that support the act, including adding victims of crime to those who can apply for a testing order.