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Maieron of two minds on ambulance service

by David Meyer

HILLSBURGH - Some things appear to be improving when it comes to ambulance service in the Town of Erin, according to one of the service’s biggest critics.

Mayor Lou Maieron has been crusading for several years to get an ambulance located in his community and he said things seem to be improving, but he is unsure that will last.

“They’re playing ambulance keep-away,” he said of the city.

But Maieron said he must give credit when it is due and, “It is doing better.” He said people visiting Tim Hortons in Erin report seeing the ambulance - “It’s making more of an appearance in town.”

But he added there was a problem August and the Ontario Ministry of Health is now investigating that incident.

Ironically, it occurred at Respan Respiratory Products, a stone’s throw away from the fire hall in Erin (Respan makes respiratory products for ambulance services). Maieron said it took 40 minutes for an ambulance to respond when a worker had difficulty breathing.

The mayor said part of the problem stems from Erin being in an area served by two dispatch systems: one in Cambridge and the other in Mississauga. He said when one passed along a dispatch message, somehow the emergency code was downgraded and that caused a delay.

Meanwhile, nobody involved in dispatch called the fire department to respond. But Maieron said despite that complaint, he sees service from Guelph improving.

“Guelph has been proactive,” he said, explaining a new committee structure at the county means county council receives a full report on activities each month.

Further, he said, county residents and politicians can attend meetings to register complaints and concerns. Further, citizens now have access to Guelph’s committee system, and can also obtain information at the city’s website and attend Guelph committee meetings.

Next month, Guelph Emergency Services will review its three-month trial of having an ambulance based in Erin, but Maieron does not hold out much hope it will continue there. He explained it is too close to hospitals outside of the county’s ambulance system. And once sent there, and ambulance could be reassigned to other emergencies in that community.

 

 

September 23, 2011

 
 

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