New Ambulance Station Opens in Powerview-Pine Falls

News Release – Manitoba
March 20, 2012

New Station Will Enhance Quality Emergency Care for Residents: Oswald

Powerview-Pine Falls-A new, modern emergency medical services (EMS) station in Powerview-Pine Falls will ensure quality care for patients, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said today as she officially opened the station.

“The new equipment and crew quarters in the station will make a big difference to front-line paramedics providing care to patients,” said Oswald. “Powerview-Pine Falls receives more than 1,500 emergency calls a year and is the busiest station in the region. The modernization of this station will improve patient safety and help in recruitment efforts.”Construction on the new station was started in the spring of 2011 and was completed this past winter. The 2,500-square-foot facility has two ambulance bays and includes new disinfection capacity for medical equipment, improved exhaust-fume extraction and private rest areas for crews.

The station is also designed to serve as an emergency operations centre in the event of a major disaster in the area and is wired for computers and communications equipment that may be needed to address an emergency. The new station also uses geothermal heating and air conditioning units.

“We know that call volumes are rising in the region, and this new station will certainly help us support a modern emergency medical services system,” said Ron Van Denakker, chief executive officer, North Eastman Health Association. “Staff will have the most appropriate resources available, which will allow us to enhance our response times and make sure we’re on the road as quickly as possible to better serve people in this region.”

The minister noted planning and design work is underway on a primary care centre addition next to the existing Powerview-Pine Falls Health Complex. Work is scheduled to begin on the 16,000‑square-foot addition later this year and will include space designed specifically around Aboriginal clients’ cultural needs for traditional healing, wellness and ceremonies as determined by local communities.

The facility will include:

• a place where Aboriginal approaches to palliative care can be offered;
• a place for traditional ceremonies and smudgings, including a place where a sacred fire can be lit;
• kitchen facilities where families can prepare traditional foods and medicines for their loved ones in hospital; and,
• a place for education on Aboriginal history and teachings around healing.

The minister noted the province has made significant investments in emergency medical services recently including:

• investing approximately $10 million annually to introduce a helicopter EMS program;
• introducing the southern air ambulance inter-facility transport initiative to cover the cost of flights scheduled for patients facing longer ambulance rides of two-and-a-half hours or more from their local hospital or personal-care home to Winnipeg for testing and treatment;
• providing $9.7 million to purchase and retrofit a replacement Lifeflight jet that will provide life‑saving medical care and transportation from isolated rural hospitals and nursing stations to care centres in Winnipeg;
• replacing the entire ambulance fleet since forming government, replacing 60 of those units again since 2009 and adding 13 new ambulances to bring the total fleet to 173;
• permanently hiring additional paramedics provincewide and partnering with Red River College to deliver a primary-care paramedic program at the college’s main campus and at three rural and northern sites; and
• providing an estimated $7 million each year to fund the full patient cost of inter-facility transports.

The cost of the emergency medical services station in Powerview-Pine Falls was just under $850,000.

– 30 –

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More