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.
The additional response capability enabled the Ambulance Service to ensure that this standard was met, thus providing better patient care to the Citizens of Windsor and Essex County.
Currently, Windsor Fire & Rescue Services is utilizing the Medtronic LifePak 1000 AED. This AED was chosen for its superior quality and durability. Windsor Fire & Rescue Services and Essex-Windsor EMS have teamed up to provide the City of Windsor with an advanced level of service and allowed the Ambulance Service to utilize advanced techniques that were previously only available in-hospital. These advanced techniques are just part of a program that is providing citizens with the most efficient care available.
Windsor Fire & Rescue Services is also the host department for the City of Windsor’s highly successful Public Access Defibrillation (AED) Program that has located almost 70 AED’s in public locations throughout the City. In conjunction with the City of Windsor Human Resource Department, the P.A.D. program has trained City of Windsor staff in CPR and Defibrillation to further reduce response times to medical emergencies. This program has been instrumental in documented saves by City of Windsor staff.