County seeks ambulance changes

County coun­cillors will be asking Guelph city coun­cil to reconsider its ambulance spending alloca­tions after a report from county social ser­vices chairman Gord Tosh on Feb. 28.
Social services oversees land ambulance service in the city and county, and Guelph officials requested several years ago that they take the lead role in providing the service.
The county agreed, but the partnership has been a rocky one over the years.
The county tried a cou­ple of years ago to take back its service, but the province re­fused, and left the service under the control of Guelph, even though the two municipalities remain part­ners. They also jointly oversee social services.
The latest complaint deals with ambulance allocations. Guelph recently provided more service for the south end of the city, plus Puslinch Township. Those areas are to have en­hanced services this year.
But Erin sits at the bottom of the service scale, with its average ambulance response times the longest in the county or city – at 16:23 minutes. Guelph-Era­mosa Township, by compari­son, has an average response time of 11:24, and Puslinch is at 13:15.
Providing extra paramedic response units to Erin and Guelph-Eramosa was one of the top two recommendations made to Guelph council by the land ambulance committee, which had received an independent re­port on the service.
Tosh told councillors that Guelph city council it did not implement that recom­mendation and he moved that the resources be spent in Erin. He said south Guelph has some resources and the city’s average ambulance response time is 7:23, a full nine minutes faster than Erin’s.
“We’d like to ask that some of those services be added,” Tosh said.
Councillor Brad Whit­combe seconded Tosh’s mo­tion, which carried.