With ambulance call volumes up by close to 15 per cent in the first half of 2022, emergency services chief Tim Waite was happy with response times and also eager to get a move on with the County’s paramedic service master plan.

Speaking to call volumes between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2022, Waite said, “the data obtained from the Ambulance Dispatch Reporting System “shows a significant call volume increase for the first half of 2022.” He added it was evident for urgent and emergent cases, as well as total calls, including deferrable, booked transfer and standby.

“April, usually being one of our quietest months, saw a significant increase of 64 per cent in priority 3 and 4 emergency calls. Total call volume for the first half of 2022 has increased close to 15 per cent,” Waite added.

In a report to the July 20 meeting, he added that when it came to response times for that same six-month period, the service “is presently meeting or exceeding all response time targets except in the case of the Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS) 1, where we are two per cent short of our target.”

CTAS 1 are conditions that are considered threats to life or limb or have an imminent risk of deterioration requiring immediate aggressive interventions. Waite noted it is hard to hit the six-minute target for sudden cardiac arrest in some instances and one call over thresholds can skewer numbers.

At the meeting, council also endorsed awarding the contract for the paramedic service master plan to Emergency Management Group, for $114,924 plus HST, from municipal modernization funding. The remaining $13,000 or so will come from budget savings.

CAO Mike Rutter said they’d be doing a community risk assessment as well for each township, which would also help fire departments.

An interim report will be presented to staff in late September with a final report being delivered by end of December, Waite said.