Manitoba spending $5 million on ambulance fleet

Funding for 39 new ambulances, including a new high-tech model designed to improve comfort and safety for patients.

Winnipeg (17 April 2009) - The Manitoba government has introduced a new high tech ambulance as part of a $5-million program to expand its fleet by nine vehicles and to replace 30 more ambulances with new models.

The 39 new and replacement vehicles will be deployed in communities across the province. The regional health authorities of Winnipeg, Brandon, Assiniboine and Interlake will each receive one of the new, next generation ambulances on a pilot basis, beginning this spring.

One of the new models was on display Wednesday at the Manitoba legislature. The vehicles will be evaluated to determine whether the province should incorporate more of them into its provincial fleet.

These new vehicles come with features to improve safety and comfort for patients and for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals. They include:

  • no-lift stretcher systems to reduce the risk of injury;
  • softer suspension to ensure a more comfortable ride for patients;
  • new reflective markings and emergency lighting to make the ambulances more visible in all weather conditions;
  • six airbags to better protect occupants in the event of a crash;
  • improved access to the equipment used to treat patients, while allowing paramedics to use their seatbelts; and
  • backup cameras to improve the driver's field of vision.

The new vehicles are 46% more fuel efficient than ambulances currently in the fleet.

“Manitoba’s ambulance fleet is in need of new and improved equipment and vehicles to ensure the safety and health of Manitobans and their families,” says Chris Broughton, president of the Paramedics of Winnipeg, Local 911 of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE).

“I know our members are feeling very positive about the fact that the province is investing in this area and we’re looking forward to being part of the pilot project.”

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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