March 20, 2009

The Toronto Transit Commission and Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are expanding the successful pilot project launched last year positioning a Toronto EMS paramedic at Bloor-Yonge Station during the morning and afternoon rush periods.

Effective immediately, a second paramedic and TTC Supervisor will be based at Spadina Station on weekday mornings from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  This is in addition to the team at Bloor-Yonge.

During the afternoon rush period between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., two teams will now be on duty.  One team will be positioned at Union Station, and the second at Eglinton Station.

These changes will bring help more quickly to TTC customers by expanding the area the paramedic can reach by subway, better accommodating the daily flow of commuter traffic.

“This initiative benefits every subway rider. Not only will they have quicker medical help when they need it, but the TTC will be able to reduce the service delays associated with medical emergencies, which can affect tens of thousands of people at a time.” says TTC Chair Adam Giambrone.” “ We are very pleased to be working with Toronto EMS to provide better, more responsive service to riders.”

“The logistical challenges of responding in the subway system can make it difficult to reach patients quickly,” says Toronto EMS Chief Bruce Farr. “By placing a highly-trained paramedic in the system who is familiar with the underground architecture, we are reaching patients faster and immediately beginning treatment.” In the first week of the pilot project, the TTC paramedic successfully resuscitated a cardiac arrest patient on a train at Museum station. Since then, the TTC paramedic has been instrumental in responding to medical emergencies of all kinds, both on trains and in stations.

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