On May 8, 2013, during City Council, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services announced that all fire trucks operating in Mississauga will carry EpiPens and firefighters are authorized to provide assistance to anyone that requires it.

“Our firefighters are generally first on scene when there’s been a 911 call so having EpiPens available on the fire trucks makes good sense,” said Mississauga fire chief, John McDougall. “Training for our firefighters began in February and I’m pleased to say that all crews have now been trained.”

“Those suffering from an anaphylactic medical emergency used to have to wait for the ambulance to arrive,” said Debbie Bruce, co-director, Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative. “When a person is suffering, seconds count so we are thrilled to be working with Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services and Peel Region to bring awareness to anaphylaxis with the introduction of this initiative.”

According to Bruce, during an anaphylactic reaction, an allergic reaction occurs in all parts of the body simultaneously. The reaction can be so severe that it can cause allergic shock and can result in death. Administering epinephrine immediately is key to a positive outcome.

Epinephrine must be injected immediately and the person transported to the hospital, according to Bruce. When used correctly, an EpiPen administers epinephrine which can buy the sufferer enough time to reach the nearest emergency facility for continued treatment and observation. Administering epinephrine immediately is key to a positive outcome.