9-1-1 is for emergencies – not needle pick-ups, City reminds public
A growing number of calls for assistance with needle pick-ups in the City of North Battleford has Administration reminding the public that calls to 9-1-1 should be used only in emergency situations. The City’s Director of Protective Services, Chief Lindsay Holm, notes that needle pick-ups do not constitute an emergency.
“While it can be intimidating for people to find a discarded and used needle, it is possible to safely dispose of needles. The City has worked with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Battle River Treaty 6 Health to develop a step by step guide for safe needle pick-ups,” commented Chief Holm.
“Emergency services personnel should be a last resort for assistance in these matters.”
Calls to 9-1-1 for needle pick-ups in North Battleford totalled 142 to the end of May of 2023 – nearly one per day. “This is not an appropriate use of the services provided by 9-1-1 dispatch,” noted Chief Holm.
“Assistance for needle pick-ups, if absolutely necessary, can be requested during business hours on weekdays by calling City Hall at 306-445-1700.”
Needle pick-up assistance can also be submitted on the City’s Service Tracker request page.
Steps for safe needle disposal, from the City of North Battleford’s website:
- Find a glass jar or other container that the needle can't poke through.
- Wearing rubber or puncture-proof gloves, pick up the needle by the end that is not pointed. Keep the pointed end away from you.
- Don't put the cap back on. That is one way to risk getting injured.
- Put the needle, and the needle cap, if you have it, it in the container.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Store the container with needle(s) in a safe space, away from children.
- Take the container to a needle drop box, to Battle River Treaty 6 Health or Sexual Health Harm Reduction Offices, or call City Hall at 306-445-1700 to arrange for assistance if you are unable to pick them up yourself.
If you poke yourself with a used or discarded needle, gently squeeze the wound to encourage it to bleed. Immediately wash the wound and its surrounding area with soap and water, and go to the Hospital’s Emergency Department.
Needle drop boxes are located at the following places in the City of North Battleford:
- 1100 Block of 102nd Street, across from the Kramer Building
- The Frontier Mall parking lot
- The Battlefords Indian & Métis Friendship Centre
The City of North Battleford appreciates the public’s assistance in re-directing non-emergency calls away from the Provincial 9-1-1 Dispatch Centre.
For more information:
Candace Toma, Public & Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator
306-441-0713 | firstname.lastname@example.org