In the conclusion of our last post, we learned that RVs do not offer the best solution for I-MIS units in the future. Thus, when two not-for-profit groups from Calgary and Grande Prairie showed interest in the I-MIS concept, we knew where to begin; from the ground up.
The biggest issue we faced with our RVs was that they had been designed for recreational use instead of the high demand that they were experiencing at our first two locations. Going forward, we needed to decide on a vehicle to utilize as a foundation:
• To be robust enough to survive the high frequency of usage
• To be adept in colder climates
• To have sufficient storage for staff to store personal belongings and medical supplies
A partner of ours in the building process recommended that we use a Ford F-53 Chassis for the infrastructure. These are what are used for delivery services such as FedEx and UPS, so they’re known to be tough. We also used an experienced builder to ensure the units were well insulated and contained capable heating and air-conditioning systems for climates ranging from -/+30°. For our staff, we added a safe and built-in shelving for their valuables.
This is the layout for our new I-MIS units:
In April, the Grande Prairie I-MIS unit (#3) was launched and has seen a total of 692 visits. In its first month of operation, the unit saw 17 people overdose, with no deaths in relation to these events. Our Calgary unit hasn’t launched yet, but we anticipate a similar level of success as our first three.
Our units were built to be a tool in the fight against the opioid crisis, but we still have a long way to go in the effort to combat the expanding epidemic. We are excited for what the future holds with regard to going mobile that we will elaborate on in our final I-MIS blog post… stay tuned…