September 12, 2017 12:19 am
Updated: September 12, 2017 3:00 pm

B.C.’s overdose crisis is taking its toll on paramedics

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The drug overdose crisis is taking a deep psychological toll on paramedics — so much so, that they say they have “compassion fatigue.”

The feeling occurs “where it just gets too hard to keep the drive going and the compassion going in these situations,” BC Emergency Health Services executive vice-president Linda Lupini explained.

LISTEN: Overdose crisis taking a toll on paramedics, with Jon McComb 

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Lupini said “resiliency” course is being offered across the province.

It’s taught by a psychologist who is a specialist in dealing with first responders.

“We had very, very good feedback that paramedics and dispatchers feel very differently when they walk out they can deal with a lot of feelings around this crisis,” Lupini said.

READ MORE: Opiod crisis: One year after public health emergency declaration

She said that attending numerous overdoses in a single day can weigh a paramedic down.

“You kind of wonder are we doing the right thing and is this ever going to end?” Lupini said.

B.C. ambulance paramedics have responded to a staggering 36,000 drug overdose calls in the last 20 months.

WATCH: Trying to solve the opioid crisis

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