Local Press Releases


Five years later… Still seeking Minister response on streamlined emergency dispatching

September 7, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Five years later…

Still seeking Minister response on streamlined emergency dispatching  

 KITCHENER — Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris is asking the Minister of Health for an update on his commitment to the, “highest quality dispatching services possible,” and the potential for a streamlined emergency dispatching system – including ambulance – in Waterloo Region.

“I’m writing to express my continued disappointment that, despite leadership shown by our local emergency officials, a streamlined emergency dispatching system for Waterloo Region – including ambulance – remains out of reach following Ministry failure to co-operate and participate in development of a locally co-ordinated dispatch solution,” Harris noted in a letter to Minister Hoskins. “it’s been over five years since your predecessor was urged to join “discussions” aimed at addressing dispatching concerns in a letter sent by Regional Chair Ken Seiling, that asked, “the Province open itself to new models of dispatch.”

Harris indicated that the council-endorsed recommendation originally presented by former Police Chief Larry Gravill, “identified the need for a common dispatch for emergency response services across the Region – Police, Fire and Ambulance.” The letter goes on to affirm that recent reports announcing shared emergency dispatch between the Region’s fire and police highlight the unwillingness of the Ministry to work to consolidation of ambulance dispatch.

“Minister, given the forward-thinking movement of our Police and Fire services who’ve moved ahead in the absence of Ministry co-operative input, and given the vital benefits the Ministry’s co-operation would produce, I’m asking your response…” Harris requested. “…what measures [are you] taking to deliver your predecessor’s commitments related to the, ‘highest quality dispatching services possible,’ toward a streamlined emergency dispatching system – including ambulance – in Waterloo Region.”

Harris’ letter recalled that the failings of the siloed dispatch governance structure in the Region were highlighted through seven separate studies and events surrounding the tragically fatal November 2011 helicopter crash at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

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 For further information contact: Rob Willett | 519-404-4052 | rob.willett@pc.ola.org |