At a ceremony held today at the Regional Emergency Services Complex on Old Garden River Road, MPP David Orazietti presented local EMS workers with a plaque on behalf of the province of Ontario.
Presented to Rick Thorold, Sault Ste. Marie Central Ambulance Communication Centre (CACC) manager, the plaque recognized our local EMS response time.
In fact, Sault Ste. Marie has the fastest EMS dispatch time in all of Ontario.
Morre than ninety eight percent of emergency calls in Sault Ste. Marie have crews dispatched within two minutes.
This is well above the provincial average of 91.29 per cent.
"I think it is something the community should be very proud of," said Orazietti. "There are other challenges in health care right across the province, but I don't think we do enough celebrating of what we're good at. You're a shining example of excellence in our province right here in our community."
Full text of the media release from David Orazietti follows:
************************* Orazietti congratulates Sault EMS workers for fastest response time in Ontario
$2.25 million McGuinty government investment improves local emergency services
SAULT STE. MARIE - David Orazietti, MPP congratulated local EMS workers for having, on average, the fastest response time to emergency calls in Ontario.
"I applaud the outstanding work performed by our local ambulance operators as every minute during a medical emergency can be critical in saving a life,” said Orazietti. “We are pleased that our government’s support for the new Emergency Response Centre is delivering improved medical services [demonstration shown] to Saultites.”
An evaluation of Central Ambulance Communication Centres (CACCs) found that ambulance communications officers in Sault Ste. Marie responded to life-threatening emergencies faster than any other centre in Ontario.
Between January and November of 2008, the Sault Ste. Marie CACC dispatched ambulances in under 2 minutes more than 98 percent of the time - considerably higher than the provincial average of 91.29 percent.
Fast dispatch times can be the difference between life and death in many medical emergency situations.
CACCs prioritize the urgency of requests, determine the appropriate destination hospital to meet patient needs and provide callers with pre-arrival first aid instructions.
The centres deploy, coordinate and direct the movement of all ambulances and emergency response vehicles within geographic catchment areas to ensure an integrated health-care system.
Computer-aided wide-area central dispatching and technology using global positioning systems help the dispatcher to determine and assign the closest available and most appropriate ambulance to each emergency.
In addition, CACCs further contribute to Ontario's integrated system by coordinating the transfer of patients between health-care facilities.
"This is a great accomplishment for the SAH Central Ambulance Communication Centre," says Sault Ste. Marie CACC Manager Rick Thorold. "Our excellent dispatch times are a credit to the ongoing efforts of our entire team. I would like take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our staff."
Emergency workers in Sault Ste. Marie have been supported with the construction of a new Emergency Response Centre on Old Garden River Road.
Orazietti participated in the official opening of the centre in May 2008 which was constructed with a $2.25 million McGuinty government investment.
The new facility centralizes land ambulance and firefighting services in the Sault and area while providing a new joint training venue for emergency response, fire department, and police services personnel.
In addition, the McGuinty government provided the Sault Ste. Marie Central Ambulance Communications Centre with a $210,598 funding increase for 2008/09, including:
- $181,583: annualized base funding increase for salary, wages and other direct operating expenses
- $29,015: one-time funding for operating expenses.