EMS gets new response time plan 0
The county’s EMS department will have a new response time performance plan for 2013, one dictated by the municipality itself.
“We’ve been asking for municipalities and service-delivering agents to set our own response times,” EMS director Pat Kennedy told councillors at their Sept. 26 meeting. “I’m encouraging that we go with a conservative approach.”
The county was largely unable to meet provincially set response time standards because of immense size and rural nature.
Kennedy has set the bar at responding to emergencies in 15 minutes or less at least 65 per cent of the time.
“That’s a reasonable expectation here,” he said, adding that some municipalities have chosen 10 minutes.
While the province is requesting that public defibrillators be available within six minutes, “we cannot control that,” Kennedy said. “That’s a public response.”
There are some 40 public access defibrillators at various locations throughout the county.
Kennedy was shot down by council in his request that the county purchase a seventh ambulance.
With four manned ambulances now on the ground (two 24 hours a day and two 12 hours a day), the director said it would be beneficial to add an extra ambulance to the fleet of six.
“If we have vehicles out of the area, there’s nothing for the next staff change to drive,” Kennedy said.
The expense made Algonquin Highlands Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen uncomfortable.
“It sounds like at some point in time, we’re going to be buying two ambulances instead of one,” Danielsen said, adding she just couldn’t agree to that.
Her colleagues agreed.