New Plan To Keep Renfrew County Ambulances Closer To Home

A new deal is in place to try to cut down a problem that’s been keeping Renfrew County’s ambulances tied up in Ottawa.

Renfrew County Paramedic Chief Michael Nolan says the Ottawa Hospital has agreed to a new strategy, to try to offload patients in a shorter time period, so that Renfrew County’s ambulances can return to the community faster.

“We’re very pleased that the Ottawa hospital has made a commitment to reduce that time so we’re no longer counting it in hours and that we can get it down to counting it in tens of minutes", Nolan told Star 96.7.

"The hope is that we’ll be able to turn around in 20 to 30 minutes at the Ottawa hospital and get our paramedics back in our community”, he added.

Nolan admits the time spent in Ottawa depents on a variety of factors, but says the new verbal commitment offered by hospital officials should help cut thousands of hours per year off the time local ambulances are spending tied up in the city.  

The new approach comes at a time when Renfrew County is seeing an 11 per cent increase in the volume of calls for paramedics locally.

“If I can recuperate those hours and keep the paramedics here, I don’t have to come back to council looking for additional dollars to put more paramedic units on the road”, Nolan said.

"Our first obligation is to keep the paramedics we have, here -- to be able to service those calls and to ensure we’re taking care of our own first”.