In the past week, we conducted a short interview with Mike Nadeau, CEO of the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB).
The DSSMSSAB is responsible for land ambulance emergency medical services (EMS) from Garden River First Nation in the East to Montreal River in the North; including the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Prince Township, etc. As such, the responses below represent our district’s entire coverage area, which also includes the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
How many ambulances are in service inside the city limits of Sault Ste. Marie at any given time? I know it can vary by a couple here and there but scheduled.
We have 3 ambulances scheduled 24/7 plus two additional 12-hour shifts daily (5 total) at our main base located within the City of Sault Ste. Marie. We also have one 24/7 ambulance based in Garden River First Nation and one paramedic response unit posted in Goulais River (Sault North) twelve hours a day.
How bad are the off-load delays at Sault Area Hospital (SAH)? What are some solutions to help this?
We track and share the off-load times with SAH in a continued effort to work in partnership to improve any pressure points. With the COVID-19 pandemic, off-load delay times have increased compared to pre-COVID norms. We are working with SAH to improve any off-load delays as they occur.
What is the average response time for an ambulance within city limits?
Between January 1 and October 31 we have been dispatched on over 12,600 calls, with an average response time of 8.4 minutes for the district. Priority calls (lights and sirens used), had an average response time of 7.85 minutes (6,800 calls).
What is the planned response time, is it higher or lower than the average?
Our latest submitted plan to the Ministry of Health (MOH) regarding response time targets for 2021 is as follows:
|Type of Call by CTAS||Target Time in minutes||Response Time Performance Plan Goal %|
Note: Our service has, and continues, to meet its response time targets on a quarterly and annual basis.
How many times in the past year have you had a zero service level (no clean ambulances available) inside city limits?
This year, out of 12,600 calls, there have been 43 instances when an emergency response was delayed as a result of no ambulance being immediately available when the call came in.
What would cause that type of issue?
There are a variety of reasons; such as call volume surge, patient severity, patient extrication, weather, off-load delays, long-distance/remote calls, vehicle failure, on-duty staff injury/illness, etc.
Does the service require anything from the province that could help going forward?
We continue to have a great relationship and partnership with our provincial partners.