Delivering quick ambulance service is becoming more challenging in parts of Hastings County, but the region’s paramedic chief says he’s pleased with service in Bancroft.
A Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services report said the service dealt with a 10 per cent increase in calls in 2022 compared to 2021, plus record calls levels in the summer.
But the report also showed that in Bancroft, the number of calls in 2022 was down 14 per cent compared to 2018 data.
Paramedic Chief Carl Bowker says that’s because the service has worked with Quinte Health to get a new company, Pioneer Patient Transfer, to take calls to North Hastings Hospital. It does the job when there’s a non-urgent request for a patient to be transferred to another hospital.
Bowker says it’s paying off, as it’s allowing the two dedicated ambulances for North Hastings to stay on the road and attend urgent calls. The number of those calls, generally, are up.
Bowker adds he feels Bancroft is in a good position to withstand an increase in call volumes.
“We’re staffed with two ambulances (in Bancroft) 24/7,” he says. “We consider that well-staffed compared to other rural areas.”
The report said the average time for an ambulance to respond to a Bancroft call in 2022 was 5 minutes, 37 seconds – almost a minute more than the average time recorded in 2018.
But Bowker is not upset, saying that 5:37 is still a respectable response time.