Sanikiluaq finally has an ambulance, with a new-to-them unit arriving via sealift to the community. Now residents can expect to have another basic medical service available to them.
“My understanding is the community has been wanting to do this the last few years,” said Ronald Ladd, senior administrative officer for the Municipality of Sanikiluaq.
Previously residents of the Belcher Island community had to rely on the generosity of others for lifts to the health centre or airport for medevacs. Various departments relied on one another to each provide their share of picking people up.
“It was kind of a scattered approach,” he said.
Four years ago, Ladd was the SAO of Pangnirtung and brought his experience setting up a similar contract to buy a used ambulance for that community to Sanikiluaq. He adds that every community, no matter where you are, should have some kind of ambulance and be able to provide fundamental patient services, such as being able to stabilize a patient while they are being transported.
“These are basic services, these are ambulances,” said Ladd, “every community should have one, either public or privately ran,” he said.
Ladd also adds there is a more involved partnership with the GN compared to other communities due to the Municipality having to deliver many of the services the GN would normally be doing.
“We don’t have a GN building, we don’t have a GN presence. They’re here but we deliver a lot of the services for them, we’re not a centralized community like Iqlauit, Cambridge Bay or Pond Inlet, we don’t have the regional office here,” explained Ladd.
“We do a lot of the things typically the GN would be responsible for, but are working in partnership with the GN to try and have basic services.”
The newly arrived ambulance is a used 2014 model, uses diesel fuel and will serve the community for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a great day for residents in Sanikiluaq,” said resident Miriam Arragutainaq.