CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services Chief Bill Lister told Cornwall City Council during a Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 7 that his goal was to get seven more ambulances on the road to deal with any future spike in COVID-19 cases in the region.
“Our first goal is to keep more ambulances on the road to keep up with the curve,” said Lister. “The loose prediction is that we will need seven new ambulances on the road to keep up with the curve.”
He explained that this would bring the total number of ambulances on the road in the region to 14, though he added he would be more comfortable with 17.
That being said, Lister also explained that overall, his service was seeing a lower call volume than is typical for this time of year. He said that for the past week, his service was receiving around 40 calls a day, and that normal levels were around 50.
Lister credited the cancellation of elective surgeries by hospitals, and the provincial and local orders to self-isolate, keeping people at home and out of danger.
On Friday, April 3, in a teleconference with local media, Chief Lister said that his service was expecting and preparing for a spike in call volumes related to COVID-19.
“We are expecting call volume to climb dramatically in the next few weeks and months,” said Lister. “We are preparing to meet that demand, but we need the support, understanding, and patience of residents.”
In addition to adding more ambulances to the road, Lister said that he also planned on hiring another 12 to 20 part-time paramedics to supplement the 66 full-time and 54 part-time paramedics already on staff.