Mistissini, August 13, 2018 - On August 9, 2018 at the Annual General Assembly of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) and the Cree Nation of Chisasibi signed a partnership agreement to strengthen first responder services in the community. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Grand Chief Abel Bosum and the assembled leaders of all the communities of Eeyou Istchee by Daniel Saint-Amour, Executive Director, and Davey Bobbish, Chief of Chisasibi.
The partnership with Chisasibi is the fifth such agreement that the Cree Health Board has signed. So far, Nemaska, Eastmain, Waskaganish and Whapmagoostui have signed similar agreements. ‘Our aim is to sign agreements with all the communities and we are continuing discussions with Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou, Waswanipi and Wemindji’, stated Daniel Saint-Amour.
First responders are first on the scene of accidents and medical emergencies and help stabilize patients and transport them by ambulance to the nearest clinic or hospital. As an example, in case of a pre-hospital emergency in Chisasibi, first responders will be responsible of bringing a person in need to the Chisasibi local hospital or any other location determined by the Regional Medical Director. The Cree Health Board, with funding from the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, provides ambulances to the Cree First Nations and also organizes training so that first responders, most often firefighters employed by the Band, can obtain and maintain their certification.
With the new agreement, the Cree Health Board will provide additional financial support to help maintain 24/7 emergency preparedness and support the cost of ambulance maintenance. The agreement clarifies roles and responsibilities and provides for improved tracking of the number and the nature of ambulance runs. With this additional support, the community of Chisasibi and the other communities who have signed similar agreements will benefit from more efficient ambulance services around the clock. First responders also respond to emergencies outside the community such as highway accidents, so land users, travellers and visitors to the region will also benefit from the strengthened services that will result from these agreements.
Photo Caption: Bella Moses Petawabano, CBHSSBJ Chairperson of the Board of Directors; Daniel Saint-Amour, CBHSSJB Executive Director; Jason Coonishish, CBHSSBJ Coordinator of Pre-Hospital and Emergency Measures; Cree Nation of Chisasibi’s Chief Davey Bobbish and L. George Pachanos, CBHSSJB Board Representative at the First responder service agreement signing ceremony. (Credit: Philiptchenko/CBHSSJB)
About the CBHSSBJ
The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) is responsible for the administration of healthcare and social services on the Cree territory of James Bay (Eeyou Istchee), in northern Québec. In each of the nine communities of Eeyou Istchee, the CBHSSJB operates a Community Miyupimaatisiiun Centre (CMC). CMCs offer services in general medicine, home care, dentistry and social services to a population of more than 19 000 people. http://www.creehealth.org/
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