Ornge, Ontario’s provider of air ambulance and related services, announced on Tuesday, April 7 its Critical Care Land Ambulance program (CCLA) will be expanding temporarily to Chatham-Kent, beginning April 13, 2020.
Ornge officials say this is the second expansion of the CCLA program related to COVID-19 following the beginning of operations in Hamilton on April 6.
The new resource is in anticipation of an increase in the need to provide timely transport for COVID-19 patients to tertiary care centres and an increase in the need to conduct timely critical care repatriations, Ornge officials say.
Chatham-Kent EMS/Medavie EMS will host an Ornge land ambulance and one backup ambulance, along with paramedic crew.
The base will be staffed 12 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.
“These new operations will enhance Ornge’s ability to provide patient care at this challenging time throughout the southwestern Ontario region, including the London-Windsor corridor and Sarnia,” stated Wade Durham, Chief Operating Officer – Medical Operations for Ornge, in a media release.
The new temporary Chatham-Kent base adds to Ornge’s existing CCLA bases including Mississauga, Peterborough, Ottawa and its temporary location in Hamilton.
Ornge will still be available by helicopter and fixed wing aircraft as required depending on the circumstances of the transport.
“Ornge would like to thank Donald MacLellan, General Manager, and Operations Manager Rodney Hetherington, for all their support with this project,” added Durham.
Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, co-ordinates all aspects of Ontario’s air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program and the authorisation of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.
Ornge officials say their team of critical care land paramedics provides a faster and safer transport service of critically ill patients throughout the Greater Toronto area, Ottawa and Peterborough regions.
The Critical Care Land Ambulance program relieves pressure on land ambulance services, reduces the need for hospitals to provide escort staff for critical transfers and allows Ornge to increase air ambulance availability for outlying rural and remote areas.