Column: March 31, 2016

Paramedic service in West Carleton-March

Recently there have been concerns raised about the quality of paramedic services in our Ward and the established response times. In the past five years, there has been a 23% increase in paramedic response volumes in Ottawa. As a result of this increase, designated rural paramedic resources are often required to respond to the urban core where demand is greatest, which consequently creates a greater reliance on surrounding municipalities, who are then required to respond to Ottawa's rural wards.

Ottawa City Council previously directed City staff to complete a review of paramedic services to identify current and future operational needs and efficiency opportunities, and this service review is anticipated to be completed later this spring. However, as I wasn’t willing to wait until then to deal with the need for better service for Ward 5, I had tabled a Notice of Motion at the February 24 City Council meeting, which requested the addition of 12 paramedics in 2016 and the purchase for 4 emergency response vehicles to support the additional 12 paramedics. This was subsequently tabled at the March 23 Council meeting for final approval, and I’m very pleased to report that Council unanimously voted in favour of my motion.

I will continue to work with staff to ensure that the new hires and vehicles are followed through with as quickly as possible.

Invitation to the youth of West Carleton-March

The Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC) is a group of youth who help to encourage youth engagement and to amplify youth voice and representation at the City of Ottawa. OYEC is working to increase youth engagement in decision-making within the City of Ottawa and want to hear from the youth in West Carleton-March. Ward 5 youth are invited to join the OYEC to share their opinions and ideas on Thursday April 7, at 6:30pm, Roly Armitage Hall, at the West Carleton Community Complex, 5670 Carp Road, Kinburn. RSVP to jennifer.paton@ocdsb.ca. Pizza and drinks will be served.

OYEC will be having upcoming meetings with various City departments and will also be making a presentation to the Community and Protective Services Committee. The feedback they received from Ward 5 youth will be brought to the table during their meeting with the City.