Ambulances to undergo redesign

An artist’s rendering of the new ambulance design.

MANITOULIN—Ambulances under the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB) will soon be sporting a new look, thanks to rebranding efforts.

During the winter months, the DSB determined to move away from the emergency medical services (EMS) terminology in favour of ‘paramedic services.’

“The change to paramedic services is meant to better reflect what today’s emergency medical professionals do,” states DSB CAO Fern Dominelli in his first quarter activity report. “Although paramedics will continue to provide emergency medical care, the profession is undergoing an evolution into more than just providing public emergency care. Services such as the community paramedicine program, public access defibrillation program and public education are all examples of programs provided by paramedics throughout the province that are not strictly emergency care related.”

In March, the DSB launched its new paramedic services crest and in April, the new vehicle design logo for its fleet of ambulances. The new crest will be incorporated in the new design.

Emphasis will be placed on the wording of ‘paramedic’ as well as ‘Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB.’ The word ‘ambulance’ will remain, as this is required by provincial legislation.

“The use of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) green/yellow is a major addition to the vehicle design,” explained Chief of Paramedic Services Michael MacIsaac. “This colour does not occur in nature and as such is something that is easily tracked by the human eye.”

“The sweeping lines of the design represent the natural environment within the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB,” he continued. “The use of blue in the design adds a contrasting colour to the ANSWI green/yellow that has an appealing appearance.”

The chevrons on the rear of the ambulance will remain, but with a change in colour to blue and green.

The price of the rebrand comes in at approximately $5,490 per ambulance, which will occur as new ambulances are introduced to the fleet.

Another change to come to the DSB’s ambulances is the introduction of self-loading stretchers. Self-loading stretchers will help to reduce the physical requirements of lifting for paramedics and reduce the incidents of injury.

Chief MacIsaac noted that the Sudbury fleet has moved to self-loading stretchers and has seen a drastic reduction in paramedic injuries. Since 2008, 42.8 percent of WSIB claims are directly related to stretcher use, he added.

The stretchers come at a (lease) cost of almost $1 million over seven years with the stretchers having a life expectancy of 14 years.

The last week of May was Paramedic Week, with the DSB offering its thanks to the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB paramedics for all of their hard work.

“I want to say thank you for your dedication, devotion and commitment to the profession and the people you serve,” said DSB chair Les Gamble. “We appreciate that the work you perform often impacts upon your personal and family lives and we recognize that your role is vital for our communities and is an essential piece of our healthcare safety net. You respond to our citizens at their time of greatest need, on the patient’s terms, giving the patient and the community the best that you have to offer and doing what’s best for all.”

“It’s a tough job and no one really wants to see us, but when you need paramedic services, you want to see them quick,” Chief MacIssac addressed the board. “If you see a paramedic, thank them.”