Michel Chrétien is the director of emergency services for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. (Photo: Francis Tessier-Burns).

Province asks Prescott-Russell paramedics to press pause on new practices

“Interested” is how Michel Chrétien described the new provincial government officials concerning the ongoing unbalanced ambulance call volume.

According to the director of emergency services for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is especially interested in fixing the financial implications of responding to calls outside the region. In the past two years, the UCPR has been out about $1.5 million for responding to calls in Ottawa.

Chrétien added the officials taking over the file requested more time to review.

In May, Chrétien announced that if local paramedics needed to bring a patient to a hospital outside of the region, they’ll mark themselves unavailable for dispatch until they cross into Prescott-Russell territory.

This practice was to start in August but at the request of the new provincial representatives, it’s being “tabled” for now. Chrétien maintains he still wants the opportunity to go ahead if changes aren’t made, though there’s no deadline as to when that would happen.

Chrétien added that deployment regulations introduced under the Wynne government are starting to have a positive effect towards reducing call volume outside the territory. While it’s still a little too early to show specific numbers, Chrétien says there’s been a general downward trend over the past four to six months.


While you are here, we have a small ask.

More people are reading The Review than ever before — across our many platforms. So far, we have not put up a paywall to limit the stories you can read. We want to keep you in the news loop. But advertising revenues are increasingly going to the big two: you know who they are. If you value The Review’s independent, local community journalism, or you value the many ways we support dozens of community organizations in their endeavours, consider supporting our work. It takes time, effort and professional smarts to stay on top of community news and present well-researched, objective news articles on issues which matter to you.

If you read stories on this website, or you have come here from an Instant Article post on Facebook, think about subscribing. It would be a vote of confidence for the work that we do, and for the future well-being of your community.

Subscribe today?