• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Emergency Response Times

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
Not wishing to de-rail the RCMP First Contract thread, any further than it already is, I started a new one.

I understand emergency services may not always achieve their response-time benchmark.

By "Response Time Benchmark" I mean, time measurement of the - FIRST- unit to arrive on scene.

Units that follow are not part of the equation.

For example, Daftandbarmy posted,
B.C. heat wave leads to 11-hour ambulance wait time, spike in sudden deaths
This was a huge public health failure at the highest levels, evidenced by ambulance waits of 11+ hours due to poor planning/scheduling etc
A heat wave paralyzing huge swaths of British Columbia has stretched emergency services in several municipalities to the brink — in one case, Vancouver firefighters have waited 11 hours for an ambulance crew to arrive and transport an elderly person suffering heat exhaustion to the hospital.
Just before noon Tuesday, firefighters were still waiting.

That was Vancouver. Presumably, response times in remote areas of British Columbia take longer.

Here in Ontario, sometimes it is faster to send an air ambulance, rather than a land ambulance, to remote areas.

Even in Toronto, we relied on our Marine Unit for calls on the Islands.

Units that are mobile, even though further away, are often sent rather than a unit in station. Being mobile eliminates "chute" aka "turnout" time.

Understood some calls may generate a response from multiple units.
The unit I was assigned to was never "first due" on any call. But, we covered a much larger geographic area.

The Province of Ontario posts ambulance response times for the public,
Plan in Minutes - Response Time Standard Performance Plan in minutes
Plan in Percentage - Response Time Standard Performance Plan in percentage
Performance in Percentage - Response Time Standard Performance Achieved

This is specific to specific areas. Some urban. Some rural. Some remote.

It covers about sixty individual cities, towns, districts, counties, and regions across Ontario.

You can select any of them from the drop-down menu,

I remember taxpayers where I worked had an interest in how long they should expect to wait for help. Some were quite vocal about it.

I suppose they are in other areas, as well.

I understand, "We get there when we get there."

But, out of curiosity, I just wondered if the RCMP, not being familiar with that service, had a measurement of response time performance benchmarks. Thank-you.

Edit to add. Thanks to Redfive for posting that in the other thread.
 
Last edited:

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
412
Points
810
As mentioned in the other thread, the OPP does not, on a global basis, publish response times, as the numbers are fairly meaningless without other factors considered (urban, rural, remote, type of incident, etc.). The data is available from each member's daily activity report and CAD logs and can be provided at the local level to police service boards. I am not aware that this type of data is publicly available; the only sort-of related data published in their Annual Report was a provincial average of how quickly a 911 call was answered.

I noticed in your link that the EMS numbers are categorized into 'time it takes to dispatch' and 'time it takes to arrive'. Obviously, travel times would vary widely between dense urban and rural areas. I'm not sure how widespread a 'response category'- avatar to the Triage and Acuity Scale used by EMS - is used; the OPP does not.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
I noticed in your link that the EMS numbers are categorized into 'time it takes to dispatch' and 'time it takes to arrive'. Obviously, travel times would vary widely between dense urban and rural areas. I'm not sure how widespread a 'response category'- avatar to the Triage and Acuity Scale used by EMS - is used; the OPP does not.
An example of how sometimes it takes a deep dive to make sense of response times.

There was a call on William Morgan. That's in the Leaside area of East York, in Toronto.

Echo is the highest priority. Ambulance arrived in 5 minutes.

She was already dead. But, the response time was well within the 8 minute and 59 seconds benchmark.

The thing was, she had to wait more than three hours from the time of the original 9-1-1 call at 15:14 , before she was finally upgraded to an "echo" at 18:31.

My understanding of On Time Performance is you set a benchmark for "lights and siren" priority calls. In our case, it was was 8 minutes and 59 seconds, with
a 60 second chute time included.

Due to the nature of emergency services, 100% compliance will never be achieved. But, if not averaging out at close to 90%, time to hire more people , or call in OT. That's written into our collective agreement. That's what the taxpayers are paying for.

Although not an exact science, they can forecast call volume to a certain extent, and adjust car counts accordingly.

"The only real sure thing in this town is that the firemen come when you pull the handle on that red box.”
Report from Engine Company 82.
 

Attachments

  • firebox.jpe
    firebox.jpe
    17.9 KB · Views: 1

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
From another thread,

I can imagine city folks freaking out if they don't get an almost instant tiered response when on vacation in the country.

They did, and probably still do.

Reminded me of something I read here about urban and rural 9-1-1 callers and response times.

Having dealt with rural emergency services during the blinding blizzard of early New Year's Eve in getting my hubby from our residence to a rural hospital and then the very expedient transfer into Ottawa Civic in 1.5 hours in extremely bad conditions with unplowed roads etc, it highlights why I vote those who consider an entire province and balance those requirements vice catering to the TO populace at the expense of all others.
For being rural who have to deal with shitty conditions, dispersed residents and long drives to essential facilities, as you stated, these folks will ALWAYS cost more per person and be far less "monetarily efficient" ... but to this rural resident, they are worth it and the city folk who can't grasp that concept should get over it.
Not sure how rural funding works.

In Toronto, only 50% of the funding comes from the province.
City taxpayers pick up the rest of the tab.

The funding for Toronto Paramedic Services occurs as a result of a mixed formula, with fifty percent of funding coming from the municipal tax base and fifty percent from the provincial government.

The funding of Toronto Paramedic Services is based upon its census population, not its business day population. As a result, there are always more people requiring EMS services than the system has been funded for.


American statistics. But, may, or may not, be relevant to Canada.

 

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
412
Points
810
Having dealt with rural emergency services during the blinding blizzard of early New Year's Eve in getting my hubby from our residence to a rural hospital and then the very expedient transfer into Ottawa Civic in 1.5 hours in extremely bad conditions with unplowed roads etc, it highlights why I vote those who consider an entire province and balance those requirements vice catering to the TO populace at the expense of all others.
For being rural who have to deal with shitty conditions, dispersed residents and long drives to essential facilities, as you stated, these folks will ALWAYS cost more per person and be far less "monetarily efficient" ... but to this rural resident, they are worth it and the city folk who can't grasp that concept should get over it.

As a rural resident (and by the description, quite remote in southern Ontario terms), the writer recognizes that emergency services can't always be just around the corner. Things like nasty weather and marginal roads are more of an issue in the boonies. There are still townships in southern Ontario that don't have fire services and contract to neighbouring municipalities. I have heard from former colleagues who worked along the Lake Huron shore - where Hwy 21 is closed at lot in the winter), that an emergency call would often be a convoy led by a highways or county plow.

Regular seasonal residents come to realize the reality fairly quickly; although some will make noise to their local councils wanting to make 'the whole world England' until they eventually come to realize their position is unrealistic. Day trippers and more causal season users aren't worth convincing as they sit in the ditch with their all season tires.

Land ambulance in Ontario was downloaded to upper tier (regions/counties) and larger cities several years ago. Most operate their own but some are contracted to private companies. Some dispatch centers are operated by the province, others by municipalities and a few by hospitals. I found a link (which I couldn't copy for some reason) that shows the provincial/municipal funding split to be about 50/50. The province pays more in the north due to the low number of organized municipalities.

The rural-urban divide always exists in Ontario, as I assume it does in other provinces, and lower density anything will always cost more. I get that. Where I get my back up a little is when urban folks completely dismiss rural issues and say that we should all simply move to a city for economic efficiency. My response is that might work as soon as cities (i.e. Toronto) figures out how to generate energy, grow food and get rid of their solid waste within their boundaries.
 

AndCurt

Guest
Reaction score
2
Points
230
RCMP response times are not typically measured. They can be, especially if requested by specific city councils.

My personal perspective is that response times are not an indication of how well the job is being done (ie. effectiveness/efficiency). In my view, policing should be measured about how well they reduce the harm severity in a given jurisdiction, rather than crime volume. E.g. a murder far outweighs the importance at prevention then 100 shoplifting files. The UK has been shifting toward this way of thinking in terms of days of sentence to measure harm.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
I vote those who consider an entire province and balance those requirements vice catering to the TO populace at the expense of all others.

If s/he feels Ontario, or any province, is catering to one populace, at the expense of all others, maybe a vote for separation would improve rural 9-1-1 response times? 🤷‍♂️

 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
RCMP response times are not typically measured.
In the jurisdiction I was familiar with, when paramedics or firefighters arrived "at scene" they radioed their dispatcher, and / or pressed the MDT Modat button to record and measure their response time.

The technology has changed over the years, but times have always been recorded.

Police did the same. Does the RCMP?


 

Booter

Jr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
75
Points
330
In the jurisdiction I was familiar with, when paramedics or firefighters arrived "at scene" they radioed their dispatcher, and / or pressed the MDT Modat button to record and measure their response time.

The technology has changed over the years, but times have always been recorded.

Police did the same. Does the RCMP?
Generally. But not all calls go through dispatch, and not all attendances are put through dispatch.

but generally there is a time on scene recorded somewhere in the various metadatas that the different systems use
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
But not all calls go through dispatch, and not all attendances are put through dispatch.
I remember sometimes emergency vehicles were "flagged down" on the street.
Or, a "Call Originator" banged on the station house door, usually at an un-godly hour.
But, we always advised Dispatch, so they could start and stop the clock.
 

Booter

Jr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
75
Points
330
There are places where when you key the dispatcher it actually dials a phone and takes almost a minute to connect you. In the Arctic the whole detachment was at the call anyways and the radio lag made it unhelpful
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
There are places where when you key the dispatcher it actually dials a phone and takes almost a minute to connect you. In the Arctic the whole detachment was at the call anyways and the radio lag made it unhelpful
Oh gosh! Thank you for the explanation! Learn something new every day on here!
 

Booter

Jr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
75
Points
330
When I was in Kimmirut 10 years ago there was no radio at all outside of “line of sight” for the two officers there. They have a new detachment now and a repeater but that’s only ten years ago.

Edit- actually it’s 13 years lol 👴🏻

actually in my current post I actually have a huge section that doesn’t have radio and any biz done in there is done through sat phones.
 

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
412
Points
810
If s/he feels Ontario, or any province, is catering to one populace, at the expense of all others, maybe a vote for separation would improve rural 9-1-1 response times? 🤷‍♂️

The Northern Ontario Party/Northern Ontario Heritage Party has been around on and off since the '70s. Their platfrom has shifted back and forth between advocating for separation and just a better deal for the north (not sure how they define 'north'). They field one or two candidates and get about 0.6% of the overall vote, about 1.5% of northern ridings. It's a real juggernaut.
 

AndCurt

Guest
Reaction score
2
Points
230
In the jurisdiction I was familiar with, when paramedics or firefighters arrived "at scene" they radioed their dispatcher, and / or pressed the MDT Modat button to record and measure their response time.

The technology has changed over the years, but times have always been recorded.

Police did the same. Does the RCMP?
Yes it is still recorded but it is rarely accurate. People forget to update, they don't hit the button, etc.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
Yes it is still recorded but it is rarely accurate. People forget to update, they don't hit the button, etc.
The urban ( non-police ) department I retired from "a gazillion years ago" even back then had GPS tracking.

That was the official permanent record in case the call went to inquest or civil suit regarding response time.

Whatever the crews say, or may not say, on the radio, or MODAT buttons they push, to signal depart station, arrive scene, or location when requested, makes little difference anymore.

The computer knows and records all that anyway. Without a human voice even having to ask anymore.
 

Booter

Jr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
75
Points
330
The urban ( non-police ) department I retired from "a gazillion years ago" even back then had GPS tracking.

That was the official permanent record in case the call went to inquest or civil suit regarding response time.

Whatever the crews say, or may not say, on the radio, or MODAT buttons they push, to signal depart station, arrive scene, or location when requested, makes little difference anymore.

The computer knows and records all that anyway. Without a human voice even having to ask anymore.
We re along way from coast to coast GPS tracking in the feds. I’ve been part of several pilots of a few systems.

long way off
 
Top