Crestvue Ambulance and the Sunrise Health Region are enhancing ambulance services by providing Advanced Care Paramedic services in the Yorkton area, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Derek Keller, Director of Emergency Medical Services with SHR, said until recently Crestvue Ambulance had only one advanced care paramedic on staff, but have now added three more, so that they have one on shift at all times.
Keller explained an ACP has additional training which allows them to do more procedures, such as advanced cardiac life support, and they can administer a broader range of medications.
“They have close to three years of training,” he said.
With the additional staffing Keller said an ACP should be on about 90 per cent of ambulance calls. The exceptions could be cases where the ACP is transferring ICU patients to Regina. He added the support role an ACP provides on such emergency transfers used to require a nurse to make the trip,
“Now we can keep the nurses in the hospital,” he said, adding the ACP
is often just as well trained in emergency procedures, and more familiar with on-road care in such transfers.
Also, effective August 6, 2013 new ambulance fees will be implemented to support this service enhancement.
The basic pick-up fee will increase from $245 per call to $325 per call. The transportation fee of $2.30 per kilometer remains unchanged, as does the wait time charge.
Fees for seniors, aged 65 and over, will continue to be capped at $275 per ambulance trip as part of the province’s Senior Citizens’ Ambulance Assistance Program. Other provincial programs such as Supplementary Health Benefits program and the Family Health Benefits program will continue to provide financial assistance for emergency transport.
People with employee benefits plans or other supplementary health insurance are reminded to check with their insurer about possible reimbursement of ambulance fees.