Council gave the green light to add an additional EMS shift in Chatham-Kent.

Council approved the following recommendations at Monday’s, July 16 meeting:

– An additional ’12 hours of service’ be added to the current level of emergency medical services for the remainder of 2018 with an increase of $312,237 to be recovered through the ambulance reserve in 2018.

– This additional ’12 hours of service’ be brought forward by administration to the new council, as a base budget addition, for the remainder of the contract with Medavie for the following years: $696,080 in 2019, $726,056 in 2020 and $741,130 in 2021.

Municipal officials said Medavie EMS Ontario Chatham-Kent and the Municipality had received a number of inquiries from the general public and the media regarding ambulance deployment and operational resources within the municipality.

Medavie manages and operates all ambulance coverage using dynamic deployment, an ambulance management approach that matches and balances ground ambulance resources with the changing patterns of demands placed on the system, municipal officials say.

This dynamic system is more effective than a static ambulance deployment plan; as resources ebb and flow and move continuously towards the demand, municipal officials said.

“There has been an increase in system demand over the last several years due to factors such as an increase in calls, emergency department offload delays, weather and major events,” stated Donald MacLellan, Medavie’s local general manager, in a press release.

“Data is reviewed daily, weekly, monthly and annually to identify trends that may drive changes in how ambulances resources are deployed however, we are careful to not to react in haste to what may be short-term demand increase rather a long term trend.”

Chris Case, an assistant fire chief, said council approved the purchase of an additional ambulance during 2018 budget deliberations to address issues of ambulance availability during shift changes and peak periods.

“We’ve been working with Medavie during the past several months,” Case stated in a media release.

Both Case and MacLellan provided a presentation to council on Monday.