Ad­vo­cacy group backs new am­bu­lance in east­ern area

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY DAVE STE­WART

Adding a new am­bu­lance to east­ern P.E.I. is good news, says the chair­man of a grass­roots ad­vo­cacy group called Is­land­wide Hos­pi­tal Ac­cess (IHA).

The pro­vin­cial govern­ment an­nounced Fri­day that a new am­bu­lance will be sta­tioned in the St. Pe­ters area, be­gin­ning in Fe­bru­ary.

“We’re de­lighted with the news . . . cau­tiously de­lighted,’’ said Alan MacPhee of Souris.

“We think Morell/St. Pe­ters has been hav­ing some of the same is­sues that (Souris) has been hav­ing and we think it’s a good ad­di­tion.’’

In De­cem­ber, the av­er­age re­sponse time for an am­bu­lance in the Mon­tague and Souris re­gions was be­tween 10 and 12 min­utes.

That’s the time be­tween the ac­tual 911 call to the am­bu­lance get­ting there.

How­ever, MacPhee says the IHA group doesn’t agree with the prov­ince’s data on re­sponse times.

“We were still hav­ing peo­ple wait­ing 45 min­utes when they had a level one heart at­tack. Anec­do­tally, when we’re talk­ing to the fire depart­ment, which gets there first, they are say­ing the re­sponse times ( for an am­bu­lance) are longer than EMS is say­ing.’’

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