WINDSOR, ONT. -- Paramedics with the Essex-Windsor EMS are all COVID-free since the pandemic started in March.

A report was presented to Essex County Council Wednesday evening.

“This is a testament to preparedness, education and equipment provided to the staff, as well as the precautionary practices employed by staff, at work and in their daily lives,” said Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter in the report.

However, EMS is forecasting a deficit from the pandemic amounting to $776,000 for the county and $765,000 for Windsor and Pelee Island.

Krauter pointed out there are, ”a number of operational deficits that are directly related to COVID-19.”

Doffing stations outside hospitals - personal protective equipment and overtime have all contributed to the red ink.

Offsetting these pandemic costs were surpluses related to lower fuel prices and a $375,000 surplus relating to the purchase of stretchers and door access improvements.

Call volume from March 1 to mid-April declined by 35 per cent at the height of the pandemic.

Daily call responses returned to pre-pandemic levels after mid-April with an increase in mental wellness calls.