On June 5th, the Ontario government announced a significant expansion of Ontario’s emergency services, the culmination of two years of government relations efforts by Ontario’s Fire Fighters.

The province announced funding for a new medical dispatch system that will help prioritize 911 calls for ambulance services to help ensure that medical help – whether a qualified first responder or transportation to an emergency department – is provided quickly and efficiently to patients across the province.

This announcement also said that the provincial government plans to update the Ambulance Act through a consultation process that will, if legislation is passed, allow fire fighters certified as paramedics to respond to low acuity calls and to provide symptom relief to high acuity calls.

Rob Hyndman, President of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, said, “I’m pleased that Premier Wynne has responded to our push to improve the emergency response system in the province. Today’s announcement will ensure that Ontarians can receive emergency medical care from a qualified individual – no matter what colour of truck they arrive on.”

Premier Wynne’s announcement means that more Ontarians can be treated quickly when they have a medical emergency.

“This is good news,” Hyndman added. “Ontarians can feel comfortable knowing that firefighters, trained as paramedics, are able to deliver the quality of care they deserve. Fire fighters are strategically located and our paramedic-trained members can provide emergency medical care when seconds count.”