Ontario's municipal leaders talk emergency services in London
Published Monday, August 18, 2014 1:10PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 18, 2014 6:34PM EDT
Members of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) are holding their annual meeting in London this week.
More than 1,500 of the province's municipal leaders are attending the AMO's annual meeting at the London Convention Centre.
One of the key sessions Monday focused on revolutionizing emergency medical services; moving the emphasis away from transporting patients, to treating them at the scene.
Norm Gale is president of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs and he says prioritizing emergency calls is the first step.
According to Gale, “Approximately 60 to 80 per cent of incoming 911 calls are classified as life-and-death emergencies. The reality is, less than 10 per cent of those calls are life-and-death.”
Gale says part of the reason for this is tied to the Provincial Dispatching Centre and how calls are classified.
Neal Roberts with the London-Middlesex EMS says, “If a system isn’t being efficiently utilized it requires us to put more vehicles on, more resources on. So we want to look at the best way to get efficiencies out of the system, before adding resources that may not be effectively used.”
Roberts says a better system for classifying calls can also produce more cost-effective, patient-friendly care.
“A community paramedic can provide care in a non-emergency setting thus avoiding a 911 call and visit to the Emergency Department, but also getting that person better care."