The City of Winnipeg says it will be hiring 12 new paramedics and 10 new emergency dispatch operators this year.

The total cost of the new positions — just over $1.2 million — has been earmarked in the city's latest operating budget, which was released on Wednesday, and will be cost-shared with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Mayor Sam Katz says the city needs to staff another ambulance because many of them are often tied up waiting at emergency rooms to offload patients.

"Offload times at our city hospitals continue to be a problem for both patients and ambulance staff," he said Thursday.

"Instead of being on the road and ready to respond to calls, ambulances are [being] parked at hospitals."

The city will also invest in new tools paramedics will have in the field, such as technology that uses iPhones to transmit defibrillator data to doctors.

"The addition of this ambulance and equipment along with 12 paramedic and support staff, will definitely ease some of the burden on the city's ambulance staff," Katz said.