New Dedicated Flights to Better Serve Northeastern Ontario

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Ornge will launch a six month trial program between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury to provide airplane service for patients with scheduled hospital treatment.

Using contract resources to deliver a scheduled program in this area will free up Ornge resources to deal with more urgent and emergency work, through more effective use of our helicopter and airplane assets.

This route was identified as an appropriate test location because of the well-known collaborative efforts of the two hospitals, the volume of inter-facility helicopter and airplane flights and the potential to use Advanced Care and Primary Care Paramedic resources.  After reviewing the data for these flights it was determined that both communities could be provided with enhanced health care services through a trial project of regularly scheduled fixed wing service.

As part of its commitment to building capacity in the air ambulance service by working with its Standing Agreement Carriers and other health care institutions to find innovative solutions, Ornge has issued a Request for Quotation to our contract carriers for a dedicated flight service, 3 days a week, between these two locations.  The Request for Quotation recognizes that Ornge needs to partner and work with the private sector, health care institutions and community partners to design, implement and develop the project, including the appropriate level of care.  Ornge is building on its current contracts and is exploring ways to deliver existing services in new ways to provide the best and most efficient coverage possible.  This project will allow Ornge to free up its airplanes and helicopters to better serve Ontario's northern communities.

"We are excited to move forward with the first phase of this new trial," said Ron McKerlie, Interim President and CEO.  "By having more reliably scheduled flights, hospitals, patients and their families will be able to better plan hospital health care visits, helping to ease the stress and uncertainty often associated with serious illness and hospital treatments."

"We value our partnership with Ornge and welcome the opportunity for us to build on our existing relationships to help deliver an efficient and cost effective air ambulance service for the benefit of the citizens of Ontario. " said Rick Horwath, President of Air Bravo, Ornge's largest Standing Agreement Carrier. "By creating strong partnerships through our common goals we can continue to find innovative ways to deliver our services."

"We have long advocated for greater cooperation and collaboration across the air ambulance service and we are pleased to see that Ornge is moving ahead to strengthen its relationship with private carriers," said Luc Lanoix, President of the Ontario Air Transport Association.  "We look forward to working with Ornge on this project and exploring how our industry can better assist Ornge in providing air ambulance services across the province."

"Our Standing Agreement Carriers are valued partners in the delivery of air ambulance service and I look forward to working with them on this new initiative and thank them for their interest and commitment to working together to serve the people of Ontario," said McKerlie.


Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.


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