Ornge failing to provide basic air ambulance service
Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2012
Ornge failing to provide basic air ambulance service: MPP
(Queen’s Park) – Ornge, Ontario’s scandal-plagued air ambulance service, is failing in its basic
mission of providing air ambulance service to Ontarians, says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted
Mr. Arnott rose in Question Period on June 12 to ask Health Minister Deb Matthews about the state
of air ambulance service dispatched from Ornge’s London base.
“Can she inform the House the total number of minutes Ornge helicopters at the London base have
been unavailable to respond to emergencies so far this calendar year?” Mr. Arnott asked.
When the Minister refused to address his specific question, Mr. Arnott informed the Legislature that
information leaked to the PC Caucus reveals that from January 1, 2012 to June 11, 2012 helicopters
at the Ornge base in London have been unable to respond to emergencies for a total of 10,224
“That’s 170 hours, or the equivalent of a full week of downtime and we’re not even half way through
the year!” Mr. Arnott said.
The Ornge base in London is responsible for responding to emergencies throughout Southwestern
Ontario, including in Wellington County, Halton Region, and Waterloo Region.
“It appears that Ontarians can’t always depend on Ornge to provide air ambulance service when it’s
needed,” said Mr. Arnott afterwards. “The Minister must take immediate action to fix the problem.”
The PC Caucus has been raising concerns about Ornge in the Ontario Legislature for over a year.
(Attached: Text of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Minister of Health in the Ontario Legislature, June 12,
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.
In an attempt to defend her lack of appropriate action and her failure to restore confidence in
Ontario’s air ambulance service, the Minister has recently taken to reciting a litany of statistics
related to Ornge.
The Minister has recounted the number of patients Ornge transfers, the number of vehicles Ornge
owns and the number of staff it’s recently hired.
Since the Minister is seemingly up to date on her numbers I would like to ask her this:
Can she inform the House the total number of minutes Ornge helicopters at the London base have
been unavailable to respond to emergencies so far this calendar year?
Mr. Speaker, we’ve been advised that the base in London responds to emergencies throughout
Southwestern Ontario, including Wellington County, Halton Region and Waterloo Region.
The Minister seems to be unaware of the serious situation that is occurring throughout Ontario, and
she’s been rather selective in the data she chooses to share with this House.
Mr. Speaker, the PC Caucus has obtained yet more leaked information from insiders that reveal
from January 1 of this year to yesterday, June 11, helicopters at the Ornge base in London have
been unable to respond to emergencies for 10,224 minutes.
That’s 170 hours or the equivalent of a full week of downtime and we’re not even halfway through
Will she now admit that the air ambulance service that people in Southwestern Ontario rely upon, in
a life or death crisis, often cannot even be deployed?