Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) is celebrating the first anniversary of its EpiPen Program. Approved last spring by City Council, the program ensures EpiPens are on all fire trucks in Mississauga.
“As firefighters, our priority is to protect life. Having the EpiPen Program in place is crucial for us when we’re first on the scene responding to a severe allergic reaction,” said Mississauga Fire Chief, John McDougall. “Over the past year, we’ve seen first-hand how EpiPens can buy time until a person suffering from a severe allergic reaction can be transported to the hospital.”
According to Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It can be triggered by food, latex, insect stings, medications as well as chemicals and fragrances.
An EpiPen is an injectable form of the drug epinephrine that relaxes the muscles in the airways making breathing easier. It helps to reverse the rapid and dangerous decrease in blood pressure.
“I live every day knowing the person I love most is always only one mistake away from a life-threatening allergic medical emergency,” says Debbie Bruce, co-director, Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative. “In the case of an anaphylactic medical emergency – seconds count. It’s reassuring to me and many residents that our firefighters can respond when they arrive on the scene,” says Bruce recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her advocacy work for anaphylaxis awareness and risk reduction.
In Mississauga, there are approximately more than 50,000 people who suffer from severe, life-threatening allergies.
To learn more about the MFES EpiPen Program, please visit mississauga.ca/portal/residents/epipensprogram.