Fire Chief Says Large Majority Of HazMat Calls Drug Related
When it comes to needles left behind by intravenous drug users the number is growing says Rod Montgomery City of Moose Jaw Fire Chief.
Asked by Councillor Crystal Froese, as part of a review of the quarterly reports, if the fire department keeps track of drug paraphernalia they pick up as part of their duties the Chief Montgomery responded yrs.
“Yes we do track it and with respect to needles pickups…we do track it and pass it onto the health authorities.”
As part of their duties fire fighters respond to abandoned intravenous needles. The public is asked to report and needles found to the fire department to help ensure proper disposal and nobody is accidently poked.
“When you look at the hazmat (hazardous materials) calls by and large most of those are needle pickups…under hazmat if you (have) 38 calls I am going to say 37 of those are needle pickups “
Despite needles being handed out as part of a harm reduction program it does not mean all of them are returned he said with calls spiking the next day after distribution.
“When needles are passed out on a Tuesday on Wednesday we are heading out,” Chief Montgomery said.