As part of the response capabilities of the Windsor Fire & Rescue Services, we also respond to Medical Emergencies in the City of Windsor. In 1994 as part of the Ontario Pre-Hospital Advanced Life Support Study (OPALS) program started to provide First Response with Defibrillation (AED) to Medical Emergencies as part of the overall EMS response system.
In order to be eligible for the OPALS program and to enable the EMS to train Paramedics to the Advanced Care Paramedic level the local Ambulance Service had to meet strict criteria. The most important factor being that citizens in the City have an average response time to “out of hospital cardiac arrest care” in fewer than 8 minutes, over 90% of the time. The Ambulance Service could not achieve this standard alone, so Windsor Fire & Rescue Services began the developing a program to train Firefighters in Defibrillation and Oxygen Administration to better assist the citizens of Windsor.