Northwest EMS is trying to reduce calls for ambulance through prevention.
"So, we look at can we reduce calls by community paramedicine, doing outreach to people and trying to prevent injury and illness. The other factor is having the resources to do it," says Andrew Tickner, who oversees the service as the director and chief of Northwest EMS, on behalf of the Kenora District Services Board.
Last year, they responded to about 5,000 calls in Kenora and about 4,500 in Sioux Lookout. These were the top two communities in the district by call volume. The total call volume for 2016 was 12,413 calls.
An issue for the service board over the years has been the handling of non-urgent patient transfers. Tickner says they handle about 100 calls for transfers to Winnipeg a year. This isn't a big portion of the total call volume, but each call does tie up a crew for a day.
Tickner adds he doesn't see a solution to this issue on the horizon, although he says the Northwest Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) continues to work on it.
According to their web site, North West EMS employs 114 primary care paramedics and supervisory staff and a further six are shared administrative personnel, who operate a fleet of 24 vehicles including :
- 21 ambulances
- 1 multi casualty support vehicle
- 2 Administrative Vehicles
Nine stations located in:
- Pickle Lake,
- Sioux Lookout,
- Ear Falls,
- Red Lake,
- Sioux Narrows,
- Nestor Falls and
They service a population of 65,500 and a geographic area that covers 110,000 square kilometres.
Tickner's also thanking his staff for their hard work, during paramedic week.
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