LONDON, ONT -- More calls and longer offload delays highlight the challenges faced by Middlesex-London EMS.

Middlesex County Council received an update on the state of local ambulance service in the MLEMS 2019 Annual Report.

Ambulances responded to 68,500 calls for service in 2019, a 12.6 per cent jump over the previous year.

Offload delays, when ambulance crews must wait with a patient inside local emergency rooms, increased by 8.1 per cent compared to the year before.

While response times slowed slightly in 2019, they remain on target.

The annual report points to the professionalism of local paramedics for working through the challenges.

Specifically, it praises the response to the Woodman Avenue explosion and the unsanctioned FOCO Street Party.