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Coronavirus: Ornge extends land ambulance service in Hamilton to combat expected COVID-19 surge

An Ornge land ambulance will be stationed in Hamilton to combat and expected increase in COVID-19 cases in the area.
An Ornge land ambulance will be stationed in Hamilton to combat and expected increase in COVID-19 cases in the area. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The Ornge air ambulance service is keeping a land ambulance based in Hamilton, beginning April 6.

Ornge says the move is in anticipation of an increase in the need to provide timely transport for COVID-19 patients and an increase in the need to conduct timely critical care repatriations.

A Critical Care Land Ambulance (CCLA) with two paramedics will temporarily stage at a Hamilton Paramedic Service base for 12 hours each day, allowing Ornge the opportunity to store consumables and be available for immediate dispatch.

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“Staging a Critical Care ambulance and paramedic crew in Hamilton will enhance Ornge’s ability to treat COVID-19 patients in southern Ontario,” said Wade Durham, Chief Operating Officer of Paramedicine.

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“Our new base will be well positioned to support Ontario’s COVID-19 response in the Hamilton, Burlington, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Niagara Peninsula communities.”

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The new temporary Hamilton base adds to Ornge’s existing CCLA bases, which include Mississauga, Peterborough and Ottawa.

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Ornge says its service will still be available by helicopter and fixed wing aircraft as required, depending on the circumstances of the transport.

“Ornge would like to thank the Hamilton Paramedic Service, and particularly Chief Michael Sanderson, Deputy Chief Russell Crocker and Operational Supervisor Bev Dunn, for all their support with this project,” said Durham.

“We look forward to a collaborative relationship between Ornge and Hamilton Paramedic Service as we support Ontario’s patients.”

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