Thursday, May 28, 2020

Officials respond to ambulance service deployment concerns

Medavie EMS Ontario Chatham-Kent (MEMSO-CK) and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent have received a number of inquiries from the general public and the media regarding ambulance deployment and operational resources within the municipality, officials with both organizations said in a joint media release.

MEMSO-CK 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.

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 MEMSO-CK general manager, Donald MacLellan.

“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.”

As evidence of the ongoing commitment to responding to changing needs, Chatham-Kent Assistant Fire Chief Chris Case said a report recommending the municipality expand emergency service levels will be presented to council Monday.

“Council approved the purchase of an additional ambulance during 2018 budget deliberations to address issues of ambulance availability during shift changes and peak periods,” Case said in a press release.

Case said council directed CKFES to conduct a study of service needs and trends at that time.

“We’ve been working with Medavie during the past several months and we have a recommendation for council.”

This report calls for additional staffing between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m. and, if approved, will cost the municipality more than $300,000 for the remainder of this year.

The expanded service will be included in the Medavie contract through 2021.

The full report can be viewed, here.

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