Council accepts recommendation to maintain emergency response time targets

Jeff Horseman – Chief of Emergency Services, Huron County (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

Huron County council has accepted the recommendation from the county’s Chief of Emergency Services that they maintain last year’s response times targets for this year.

Emergency Services Chief, Jeff Horseman, says the target for the most critical situation is eight minutes and they are required to meet that forty per cent of the time. Horseman explains, the eight minute target is mandated by the Province.

“The eight minutes is a mandated response time for that category by the Province. But the local municipality that runs the paramedic service in the area, has the ability to set the percentage of times that you need to achieve the eight minutes.”

Horseman says that takes into consideration local conditions like distance and weather conditions.

Horseman says they are looking at some deployment changes for the future.

“We’re still looking at some deployment recommended changes for the future, with the call volume growth that we’re expecting. But in order to maintain these response times going forward, we also have to look at what our deployment looks like on the trend of growing call volumes.”

Horseman also points out the anticipated growth in call volumes is not a result of an increase in population but a reflection of the aging of the existing population.

“So as our population ages, the call volume increases. So we’re seeing about a three per cent year over year call volume increase and that’s going to eventually require more resources to maintain our response times.”