The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) is looking to take over EMS/ambulance services for the area.
Currently, ambulance operations are contracted out to the region’s healthcare facilities. DNSSAB is one of the few boards in the province that does not operate its area’s EMS.
“It’s been on my radar as chair for the past four years,” said Mark King, DNSSAB chair.
“The EMS situation was kind of put on the back burner as we worked through all these other issues,” he added, in reference to the rise in homelessness in the area.
Since 2001, the province has been pushing regional social services boards to take over ambulance operations.
DNSSAB staff have reviewed the possibility of taking over operations in the area, finding that it could provide operational savings and efficiencies.
“Hopefully, we would be able to take advantage of those savings and redirect them back to the member municipalities,” King noted.
Beyond the cost-savings, King says the operational side of EMS could be changed to better serve the communities in the district, with the DNSSAB board featuring members from virtually all the communities in the region.
“There’s far-reaching understanding at the community level that may have been missed through the original organization,” King commented.
As for the emergency service itself, King does not expect it to change “in any way, shape or form.”
The 2021 DNSSAB budget is recommending taking a closer look at changing EMS operations over to the social services board.
King says that it’s “very possible” it could happen by the end of 2021.