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Pasadena Mayor Gary Bishop asks Health Minister John Haggie to provide dedicated ambulance service to the town

Pasadena Mayor Gary Bishop says the response time for ambulance service is too long.
Pasadena Mayor Gary Bishop says the response time for ambulance service is too long. - 123RF Stock Photo

A dedicated ambulance service for the residents of his growing and aging community.

That’s the message Pasadena Mayor Gary Bishop delivered to Health Minister John Haggie during a meeting in St. John’s one week ago.

Bishop and Pasadena executive officer Brian Hudson met with Minister Haggie to outline their safety concerns over the 911 system and delivery of ambulance services in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We just feel that the response time is just too long, to put it in a nutshell,” Bishop said Friday when asked about the concerns he expressed to Haggie.

Bishop says changes need to be made to the way 911 calls are handled. He says it’s a long process to go through once a call for help has been received by staff at the Corner Brook Public Safety Answering Point Centre, located in Corner Brook City Hall.

He says there is a lot of valuable time wasted, with a call for help being subjected to being patched to one or two different responders, depending on the nature of the call.

At a time when the province has been advocating an average wait time of 15-20 minutes for an ambulance to be dispatched to a call, Bishop insists it’s time for change when the response time for Pasadena residents is more than twice the average.

Pasadena has experienced 8.5 per cent growth over the last three years, now boasting a population of 3,600 people, and like most other communities around the province there’s the reality of an aging population, and that will only rise over the next 10 years. Seniors are certainly on the mayor’s mind as he tries to look out for the safety of the residents, so he hopes to receive a positive response to what he says is a priority for the safety of residents.

The minister wasn’t available for an interview before press time. A spokesman for the department said the minister wasn’t available for an interview because he was attending the annual general meeting of the Labrador Combined Councils on Friday.

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