Leeds & Grenville – Media Release

WESTPORT – The Leeds Grenville Paramedic Service now has a Paramedic Response Unit (PRU) located in Westport. The PRU will provide emergency medical services to residents of Westport and surrounding area from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days per week. While the Paramedic Response Unit has been in service in Westport since July 2nd, yesterday’s event marked the official launch of the initiative.

Expanding the model of placing a PRU in a specific area, as done in Athens in 2021, will assign the deployment of a dedicated resource within a targeted municipality which will not be subject to a system- wide movement. The additionof a PRU in this manner will aid in the balancing of paramedic response times in municipalities that are currently experiencing long response times while providing
indirect benefits to other neighbouring municipalities. The Village of Westport was the July 26, 2023,recommended location for placement of this PRU in an attempt to yield the greatest impact on response times and provide secondary coverage to parts of the Township of Rideau Lakes.

The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Leeds – Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, was on site for the event and said “This Paramedic Response Unit in Westport is exactly the sort of innovation that our community needs.” He thanked all who advocated to make this Unit a reality, and assured those in attendance that, as MPP, he will “keep fighting to improve and expand access to timely and quality health care across our community.”

The Chair of the Joint Services Committee, Corinna Smith-Gatcke, said “Our rural communities have faced challenges in ensuring rapid access to medical care during emergencies. This strategic move will enable our skilled paramedics to respond swiftly to emergencies, reaching those in need with the utmost urgency.”

Robin Jones, Mayor of the Village of Westport, said, “It is known our response times may never reach those of our neighbours in more urban areas, but with this announcement we are seeing significant steps towards achieving greater equity in our services for our rural communities. Our Council and our entire Village have been extremely supportive of this initiative from the start.”

Chief Carss thanked Minister Clark and Members of the Leeds Grenville Joint Services Committee for attending the event, noting the Leeds Grenville Paramedic Service continually strives for excellence. Chief Carss said “The safety and well-being of each and every individual in our region is at the forefront of our mission. “

For more information, contact Leeds Grenville Paramedic Chief, Jeff Carss, at 613-342- 3840 ext. 2404 or by email at Jeff.Carss@uclg.on.ca.