Ambulance long overdue
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.