HealthPRO Canada News

May 21, 2024

Member Spotlight: Ornge

image of Ornge

Ornge, a vital part of Ontario’s healthcare system, provides high-quality air ambulance service and medical transport to people who are critically ill or injured. Handling approximately 20,000 patient-related transports annually, their focus on critical care transport is paramount. From facilitating interfacility transfers between hospitals of varying acuity to serving remote Indigenous communities in northern Ontario, Ornge plays a vital role in emergency services. We spoke with Catherine Dawes, Pharmacy Technician, Paramedic Operations at Ornge, who shares insights into the benefits delivered by HealthPRO Canada, how technology has evolved and changed the way paramedics deliver care, and how Ornge coordinates with local emergency services and hospitals during medical emergencies.

Can you talk to some of the benefits delivered by HealthPRO Canada within your daily operations? 

HealthPRO Canada has delivered significant savings through contracts allowing us to purchase medical supplies and medications at a better cost. These savings have provided us with the flexibility to allocate resources to other vital areas within the organization. 

How has technology changed the way paramedics deliver care over the years? 

Technology has greatly improved patient care and has transformed the way paramedics deliver care.  By having access to advanced medical equipment such as diagnostic aids, defibrillators, ultrasound devices and cardiac monitors, a quicker diagnosis results in faster care and can ultimately be lifesaving. This not only accelerates the delivery of care but also enhances its precision, enabling paramedics to respond more effectively to diverse medical emergencies. 

How does Ornge coordinate with local emergency services and hospitals during medical emergencies? 

Ornge’s Operations Control Centre coordinates all medical transports.  Our Communication Officers ensure each request is assigned the proper medical personnel and equipment in order to provide patients with the best possible care. Ornge triages requests as they come in which may result in a resource being redirected from one call to another. Triage decisions are made by Ornge transport physicians on the basis of information they receive at the time of a call from the local medical staff and many considerations are taken into account when resource reassignment decisions are made.   

If you could share one piece of advice with someone preparing to become a Paramedic, what would it be? 

Be committed to life-long learning both professionally and personally.   

About Ornge 

Ornge is the air ambulance and critical care transport provider for the province of Ontario, servicing more than 14 million people over one million square kilometers of land.    

There are 14 bases located across the province, staffed with pilots, paramedics, aircraft maintenance engineers and support staff working together to deliver high quality patient care. The bases are located in Hamilton, Chatham-Kent, Peterborough, Ottawa, Mississauga, Toronto, Moosonee, Sudbury, London, Timmins, Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and Kenora. Ornge’s Operations Control Centre is also located at its head office in Mississauga.  

Ornge’s fleet consists of eight PC-12 airplanes, 12 AW-139 helicopters and 13 Crestline Commander land ambulances. They also have contracts with three Standing Agreement air carriers which perform mostly non-urgent transports in Northern Ontario.