Emergency response times questioned following Sunday crash in Guelph
A minor crash in Guelph on Sunday afternoon is sparking a major conversation about emergency response, with neighbouring paramedics from Waterloo region responding to the collision.
Local Guelph-Wellington ambulances were tied up with offload delays, which has been a common occurrence in the area for a while now.
Police said the call for a two-vehicle collision came in at 12:25 p.m. at the intersection of Silvercreek Parkway and Speedvale Avenue.
Their records indicated that it took 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on scene around 12:40 p.m. as all Guelph-Wellington paramedics nearby were unavailable because of offload delays at Guelph General Hospital.
Region of Waterloo paramedics attended the call despite a Guelph ambulance station only five minutes away.
Minor injuries were reported in that crash and the local union president for Guelph-Wellington Paramedics called the situation unacceptable. He said that the additional time it takes for neighbouring paramedics to respond to calls can leave vulnerable patients in jeopardy.
“Any other call could have come in at that point,” said Nick Di Ruzza.”Whether it had been a more serious cardiac arrest, or a worse motor vehicle collision where there’s trauma. Time is of the essence and they would have had to wait for an ambulance response.”
On Saturday evening, OPSEU Local 231 tweeted a photo showing several Guelph-Wellington ambulances lining the road outside of Guelph General Hospital with the caption: “Another day of offload delays”.
On Sunday, paramedics reported a similar issue with patients at the hospital waiting for more than six hours to get a bed, tying up ambulances outside.
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