Faster EMS response times in South Glengarry, South Stormont

CNW Exclusive

Emergency Medical Services Chief Myles Cassidy and Cornwall CFO Maureen Adams present their shared services budgets to United Counties council on Feb. 17, 2016. Cassidy says response times to medical calls in South Glengarry and South Stormont have been quicker since the service introduced two paramedic response units last year. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – Some reassuring news for people needing medical help in South Stormont and South Glengarry – paramedic response times are already getting shorter.

Cornwall EMS Chief Myles Cassidy told county council Wednesday morning the average response time in those areas has dropped from 14 minutes to 9.5 minutes.

Cassidy shared the most recent data as the council was reviewing the $12.4 million EMS budget – a service that is shared 60-40 between United Counties of SD&G and the City of Cornwall.

Out of the approximately 14,000 calls a year the service receives, 1,000 of them come from South Glengarry and South Stormont.

Last year, the EMS service introduced two paramedic response units (PRUs) in Long Sault and Lancaster with a staffing cost of roughly $500,000.

The SUVs allow paramedics to get to the scene quickly with all the gear an ambulance would carry in order to treat patients and stabilize them before an ambulance arrives on scene to take them to a hospital.

The ambulance base in Long Sault, which is under construction, should be ready in April, Cassidy told councillors.

The region’s paramedic service will also undergo a name change this year – it will be called the “Cornwall/SDG Paramedic Service.”