The fire department said the driver was already out of the semi when they arrived, and he sustained minor injuries.
Thats the difficult part for us now, said Rodger. Is that there is not enough evidence on site … to indicate where these would have originated from.
Hundreds of used needles were collected from the sides of a Saskatoon freeway over the weekend and fire department staff want to know where the potential bio-hazards came from.
The needles were recovered on Sunday morning after someone called the fire department’s property maintenance line to report that needles were scattered along Circle Drive north of Laurier Drive, on both sides of the road.
“This isn’t regular with respect to location and volume,” said assistant fire chief Wayne Rodger. More than 500 needles were recovered.
“The specifics with this particular scenario lead me to believe that these were most likely in transport somewhere between a departure and a destination,” Rodger said.
Initially, a single fire crew was dispatched to the area to help with the cleanup, but due to the size of the call, a second fire apparatus was issued to assist.
He said it’s possible the needles fell out of a vehicle, as there is little pedestrian traffic in the area and two four-litre bio-hazard containers were recovered. However, there’s nothing to indicate where the needles are from.
“That’s the difficult part for us now, is that there is not enough evidence on site … to indicate where these would have originated from,” Rodger said.“
While used needles can pose a threat, he said it’s important to note needles are used regularly in the health care system and present little danger if handled and disposed of properly.
Rodger said without any identifying markers, it would be “very challenging” to determine how they got there.
In an emailed statement, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said it takes the safe disposal of needles “very seriously,” since needles found in public spaces outside of a container are considered “high risk” due to the possibility of a needle stick injury.
“We are proud to work closely with our partners, such as the Saskatoon Fire Department, in safe needle disposal. We are grateful they were able to respond to the cleanup incident over the weekend,” the SHA statement said.
Members of the public should take steps to avoid danger if they find a needle, including wearing gloves, using tweezers, pliers or tongs to pick up the non-sharp end of the needle and placing it in a hard container clearly labelled “used needles.”