(The Sault Star) Garden River gets new first responder van, plans to tackle PTSD

The Garden River Fire Department welcomed a new first responder vehicle on Thursday, one that was donated by the provincial Ministry of Health.

It’s part of the Ontario First Nation Health Action Plan and the ongoing effort by the ministry to develop and maintain emergency first response teams within northern First Nations communities.

Representing the ministry at the ceremony was regional training coordinator Ed Landriault, who works at the Sault Area Hospital and has been running the first emergency training program within First Nations communities across the province in the past seven years.

’What a first response team does is respond to medical emergency within the community, and they provide primary care of stabilizing a patient until paramedics can arrive,’ said Landriault.

While the first responder vehicle isn’t used to transport anyone, it is configured pretty much the same as an ambulance, he added.

’The thing I like about it is the height inside. You can’t put a six-feet-two man in a regular ambulance in the province,’ he said of the specially-designed vehicle.

As for the training program, which aims to equip first responder team with the necessary skills, he said his goal is to ‘ideally put a team in every community that wants one.’

There are now about 35 teams in Ontario.

Participants will learn ‘a standard first aid and CPR course’ for the first 16 hours of the training; with the next 40 hours assigned to tackle emergency response materials like how to deliver oxygen, read vital signs, and more – using the same equipment as a paramedic.

’The ministry supplies all the equipment, the vehicle, pays for the gas, insurance, any maintenance,’ he said. ‘The goal of the program is that it should not cost the community anything. It’s 100 per cent funded by the ministry of health.’

Garden River Fire Chief Steve Nolan, who has held the position for the past 10 years, extended his appreciation to the ministry.

’It’s very exciting for Garden River First Nation and Garden River Fire Department to have a gift like this from the ministry of health,’ Nolan said, adding that it’s the third vehicle sponsored by the ministry.

He says the community is ‘continuously learning and trying to build’ meaningful relationships with the government and other third parties, but there’s work to be done.

Nolan, along with the Ontario Native Fire Fighters Society, which represents many First Nations in the province, recently met with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, as they signed a strategic plan agreement to address the concerns that the communities have.

’We’re far from where we’d like to be, but we’re better today than we were yesterday,’ he said.

Joe Corbiere, of the Garden River Fire Department, spoke of the need to address one those concerns, which is the trauma that many First Nation first responders face in their line of work.

’The program that we’re trying to put together is how the first responder deals with that trauma,’ Corbiere said.

’If you got a broken leg, there’s always somebody to go and talk to and get assistance. But with trauma, the whole idea is that it’s unseen,’ said Corbiere, explaining that the stigma that surrounds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) makes the first responders reluctant to seek for help.

While there are health professionals in the community, they’re not generally available to deal with PTSD cases, he said.

Not helping matters is the tendency for people within the community to ‘not want to show their weakness.’

’What we’re looking at is a partnership and a working relationship between the health professionals who deal in trauma and indigenous health professionals who deal in trauma,’ Corbiere said. ‘It’d be acting as a bridge between the Canadian style health and the indigenous style.’

’We’d also be bringing indigenous healers and spiritual people to deal with the situation in the community in the ways that they’re comfortable with.’

The fire department is hoping to secure funding to host a ‘3-day summit’ with the aim of creating a model to deal with the trauma faced by first responders in a culturally sensitive way.

Ultimately, the goal is to keep the community and its people safe and ‘hopefully help prevent suicide and any form of trauma.’
— Bambang Sadewo
Garden River Fire Chief Steve Nolan (L) and a member of the fire department Ritch Nolan try out the new first responder vehicle on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at Garden River, Ont. (Bambang Sadewo/Special To The Sault Star)

Garden River Fire Chief Steve Nolan (L) and a member of the fire department Ritch Nolan try out the new first responder vehicle on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at Garden River, Ont. (Bambang Sadewo/Special To The Sault Star)

Upcoming Trade Shows

FDIC International
April 27 - 29
Ram Trucks Booth (9445)

Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium
500 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225

Paramedic Chiefs of Canada Leadership Summit
June 7 -, 9
Booth 49

The Westin Nova Scotian 
1181 Hollis Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2P6

Paramedicine Across Canada Expo (PACE)
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Vehicle 1

Quebec City Convention Centre
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EMS Today February 23-25

We will be attending EMS Today with a Malley Crossover Ambulance from February 23-25.

EMS Today
Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center
100 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah

Come visit us at booth 539!

Thanks to Valley Ambulance Services for allowing us to display their new vehicle.

Celebrating With Our Residents: The comfort of home, in the company of friends

(January 23rd, 2017) – (Digby): Tideview Terrace Residents received a belated Christmas gift today with the arrival of a new wheelchair accessible van. Belliveau Motors, local Ford Dealership, delivered a 2016 Transit Connect XLT Wagon to a group of excited residents waiting by the front entrance. Malley Industries from Dieppe, New Brunswick partnered with Belliveau Motors to do the wheelchair conversion, resulting in a 5 passenger and one wheelchair vehicle.

Resident Judy McGarvey stated “It will be good for going to medical appointments outside of town.” Yvonne Speichts observed “You can see all around, even while seated in the back in your wheelchair.” Resident Council President Holly Manzer’s big smile said it all, ”It will be a more comfortable ride for everyone.”

“This new van replaces our 11 year old PT Cruiser. It offers our residents more flexibility in meeting their transportation needs now that we can accommodate a wheelchair”, says Administrator Debra Boudreau.

We at Malley Industries were delighted to be involved in this project. 

Seeing is Believing

There’s nothing quite like having the opportunity to do a direct comparison when it comes to ambulances. On the left, traditional cabinetry construction on the now discontinued Ford E:Series chassis. Beside it is a spacious Ford Transit Malley ambulance with its innovative space-enhancing interior. On the right is Malley’s multiple-award winning Crossover Ambulance conversion on the front wheel drive Ram ProMaster.


On our way to the AAA Annual Trade Show!

Our newest Crossover Ambulance is on its way to Las Vegas for the AAA Trade Show. Special thanks to Advanced Life Systems for allowing us to display their new vehicle at the show!

2016 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show
November 7-8
Caesar's Palace

Come see us at booths 10 & 22!

2016 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show

We will have a Malley Crossover and our new Ford Transit ambulance on display at the 2016 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show next month.

2016 AAA Annual Conference & Trade Show
Booths 10 & 22
November 7-8
Caesar's Palace
3570 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109