Am­bu­lance long over­due

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Res­i­dents of East­ern Kings are breath­ing a sigh of re­lief with the an­nounce­ment that a new am­bu­lance will be based in the area. It ful­fils a prom­ise made by the govern­ment dur­ing the pro­vin­cial elec­tion cam­paign last year. Res­i­dents had ex­pressed con­cern for some time that one am­bu­lance was in­suf­fi­cient to pro­vide the same cov­er­age of­fered in other ar­eas of the prov­ince. The re­gion would be left vul­ner­a­ble if that am­bu­lance was on a call or pulled out in re­sponse to an emer­gency in an­other area.

It took con­stant pres­sure to get govern­ment to make the pledge for an­other am­bu­lance, and con­stant re­minders since the elec­tion re­mind­ing it about that prom­ise. The am­bu­lance will be sta­tioned in the St. Pe­ters area, pro­vid­ing faster re­sponse times for that north shore re­gion lo­cated in a geo­graphic black­hole of be­ing half an hour from ER ser­vices in Char­lot­te­town or Mon­tague and slightly less dis­tance from the Souris hos­pi­tal.

In an­other good news an­nounce­ment, the prov­ince is in­stalling a new com­puter soft­ware sys­tem in all am­bu­lances. The sys­tem will im­prove re­sponse times where ev­ery minute is cru­cial, es­pe­cially for pa­tients suf­fer­ing a stroke or car­diac ar­rest. The av­er­age re­sponse time is steadily de­clin­ing and this sys­tem will fur­ther im­prove on them.

The num­ber of 911 calls re­quir­ing an am­bu­lance re­sponse in­creased from 6,000 in 2008 to 12,000 this past year. An ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and pro­grams de­signed to have older Is­lan­ders re­main in their own homes is part of the rea­son.

It just re­in­forces the need for bet­ter am­bu­lance cov­er­age and quicker re­sponse times — which is ex­actly what last week’s good news an­nounce­ments pro­vide.

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