Listen Live
HomeNewsExtra safety features enhance city's first supervised consumption site

Extra safety features enhance city’s first supervised consumption site

A number of features in Grande Prairie’s new supervised consumption site are making it safer for people who use the service. The unit was designed and built by Vancouver based Iridia Medical Founder Dr. Allan Holmes says this vehicle is a bit different than others he’s helped create in the past.

“We helped the communities of Kamloops and Kelowna retrofit two recreational vehicles into supervised injection sites back two years ago. They were already built recreational vehicles and then we just redid the interior. What’s different about this vehicle is it gave us an opportunity to build from the ground up.”

Plans for a supervised consumption site in Grande Prairie have been in the works for years. Holmes and HIV North worked together to design the unit and after six months of construction, it arrived in the city in January.

The unit has 360-degree cameras, lockable storage spaces and panic buttons for staff. Inside, there will be two healthcare professionals and one harm reduction worker who will be able to refer people to things like housing services.

- Advertisement -

Holmes says the unit also has safety precautions built in so that the trailer doesn’t move when people are coming or going.

“Because when you park the vehicle, you want to make sure also that there’s not a lot of movement in the vehicle when people step to go up the stairs. There’s a built-in computer operated levelling system. All the driver of the vehicle has to do is push one button.”

This vehicle cost around $400,000 and should have a shelf life of 20 years. While Holmes says he knows that may seem expensive, there’s a lot of other uses for the vehicle once a supervised consumption site isn’t needed.

“This vehicle is easily transferable into a primary care mobile unit. The injection booths can be moved out and an exam bed can be moved in… Yes, it’s specific now for a supervised consumption site… [but] this type of vehicle can then be used for many other public health situations whether its vaccines clinics or baby visits.”

The supervised consumption site officially opened on March 11th. It will be located near the Rotary House.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading