Hundreds of thousands to reduce paramedic response times

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Paramedics tend to the driver of a tractor-trailer that rolled over in Glen Walter on County Road 2 in this file photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario - A new EMS post in Long Sault could take some of the burden off paramedics stationed in Cornwall who may have to leave the city to respond to an emergency in South Stormont.

City council heard Monday night there are two ambulances stationed in Cornwall at any given time, but coverage problems can occur if there is a third call for paramedics in the city, or if one of the Cornwall ambulances is tasked to head into the counties.

"That third call is the problem," said Myles Cassidy, the city's emergency services manager.

Cassidy said paramedics are dispatched out of Ottawa, which has a mandate to send the closest vehicle available to a call for service.

Taxpayers in Cornwall and the United Counties of SDG will have to cough up $238,783 to improve paramedic response times, which would include the new EMS base in Long Sault.

Cassidy presented an EMS deployment review to city council at its meeting Tuesday.

The review indicated a new EMS post in Long Sault and additional paramedic response units (paramedics equipped with vehicles) were essential to cut response time to a 12-minute average in the counties.

The overall cost of $477,567 will be split 50 per cent with the province, leaving 29 per cent for counties ratepayers, and the remainder for city residents.

"Obviously we're falling behind in terms of coverage in the counties," said Coun. Berndatte Clement. "It is fitting that we should be here now discussing this...this is a valid recommendation."

The city is the service delivery agent for paramedic services that also covers SD and G. 

The review was completed by ORH, a U.K.-based consulting firm.

Geographic location: Ontario

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