Column: March 9, 2017

Update to paramedic services in Ottawa

On February 24, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care directed that the Ottawa Paramedic Service make some changes their dispatch policies. More specifically:

  • Transfer of care policy – The existing “transfer of care” policy provides paramedics with up to 30 minutes to prepare ambulances for the next emergency call and complete paperwork. The Ministry directed this be revised so that paramedics will no longer be allotted the mandatory 30 minutes in between calls.
  • End of shift policy – The current “end of shift” policy places the paramedic vehicle out-of-service during the final 30 minutes of the shift to ensure the unit returns to headquarters for processing before the next shift. The Ministry has asked that this be changed so that these ambulances are available to answer urgent calls.

These policy revisions are now in effect with paramedics implementing these practices.

On a related note, I’d like to provide an update to residents on a motion I put forward at City Council in March 2016 requesting an additional 12 paramedics and 4 emergency response vehicles be deployed to deal with the increased demand for service that the City has been experiencing. These additional paramedics/vehicles are currently in service.

The 2017 City of Ottawa Budget also earmarked the deployment of another 24 paramedics in 2017, as well as an investment in paramedic services of 43 new front-line service providers between 2016 and 2018.

Community education session – Women & Heart Disease

Carp Health Access is presenting its inaugural Community Education Session, featuring Elizabeth Rigley, author of the popular book Smart Aging for Women, as she discusses women and heart disease:

Saturday, March 11
3790 Carp Road, 2nd Floor
(above Carp Fair Board office)

Elizabeth Rigley has worked for many years in acute care hospitals and as a healthcare manager improving quality of care for elderly patients in long-term care facilities across Canada. She has done extensive research on the impact of lifestyle on aging.

Attendance is free but seats are limited. Doors open at 10:30am. $1 from any book purchased and any additional donations will go to Carp Health Access. Carp Health Access is a non-profit charitable organization. It fundraises for causes that improve the health and quality of life of residents of Carp and adjacent communities. Reservations can be made via For more information contact