WHITEHORSE – By early November, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance crews will begin around-the-clock service, seven days a week, from their temporary location at the junction of Alaska Highway and Hamilton Boulevard.
“EMS crews have successfully operated from the site for over a month and the upcoming transition to full-time service will move us to the next stage,” Community Services Minister Archie Lang said. “This is about reducing response times and enhancing ambulance services to residents as Whitehorse continues to grow.”
Full-time service will begin once renovations on the facility are completed. Work includes electrical, security and carpentry upgrades, installation of an improved automatic gate and setting up suitable work space for paramedics. EMS crews are currently operating from their temporary site at the Government of Yukon Protective Services building five days per week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The temporary ambulance station will be in place until a permanent facility is constructed, slated for completion in 2012.
“We hope to reveal our final long-term plans for the new emergency response facility by the end of the year,” Lang added. “This new building will improve integration of Yukon’s emergency response services locally and across the territory.”
The Protective Services division of the Department of Community Services works to save lives and protect property from human and naturally-caused threats. Emergency Medical Services works hand-in-hand Yukon-wide with the Emergency Measures Organization, the Fire Marshal’s Office, the Safety and Training branch and Wildland Fire Management to help keep Yukoners safe. For more information visit www.community.gov.yk.ca.
See backgrounder below.
- Since August 2, EMS crews have been deploying from the Government of Yukon’s protective services headquarters to provide enhanced service to residents of Whitehorse. This service is in effect from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days per week. Deployment of EMS crews from this location is part of the plan to reduce emergency response times while renovations are completed on the temporary ambulance station.
- Whitehorse EMS is experiencing an average 10 per cent increase in call volume each year.
- EMS calls can be grouped by area, with 10 per cent of calls from in and around Riverdale, 40 per cent from the downtown area and 50 per cent from the rest of the residential areas.
- In March 2010, a $420,000 contract was awarded to Kobayashi + Zedda Architects Ltd. to design a new EMS facility. Geotechnical engineering, assessment and conceptual design are currently underway at the new site, located northwest of the Hamilton Boulevard-Alaska Highway intersection.