Goulais River gets its own full-time paramedic

Goulais River, Ontario – SooToday.com has reported in a bid to improve response times north of the city, Sault Ste. Marie Social Services has agreed to deploy a paramedic and a new emergency response vehicle to Goulais River for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We’ll be securing a location over the next month or two,” District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB) chief administrative officer Mike Nadeau tells SooToday.

“When a call for emergency service is dispatched, the paramedic will go and take ownership of the patient and start treating them. And then the ambulance will be dispatched should they need to be transported, to receive the patient,” Nadeau said.

“Right now, we go all the way to Montreal River. So if someone is in Goulais Bay or Pancake Bay and calls an ambulance, they don’t get seen until the paramedic gets dispatched from the Sault and drives all the way up there. It’s going to improve our response times, to make sure that we’re providing better patient coverage.”

Half the $300,000-a-year cost of the Goulais paramedic and vehicle will be paid by DSSMSSAB, which approved the expenditure last week as part of its 2019 budget.

The other half will be covered by the Province of Ontario.

Goulais River Fire and Rescue has pushed recently for improved ambulance service north of the Sault.

In the past, the group has offered free use of its hall as a paramedic base, Nadeau says.

He’s hoping an agreement can be reached now allowing that.

The Goulais paramedic is expected to work day shifts because of increased demand during those hours.

There’s currently no ambulance base in the Sault North area, forcing residents and travellers on the Trans Canada Highway to rely heavily on volunteer first responders.

Read the full story on SooToday.com.

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