Nfld. & Labrador

Red alert forces Eastern Health to hire extra ambulance

Eastern Health had to call in an extra ambulance on Friday when its regular fleet fell short of demand.

Eastern Health had to call in an extra ambulance on Friday when its regular fleet fell short of demand.

It had to be brought in when the strain lead to what is called a red alert status.

Eastern Health says there's a review ongoing of its Paramedicine and Medical Transport Division team. It should be complete by the end of February. (CBC)
The health authority has eight ambulances during peak hours in the St. John's area.

On Friday it needed to add a ninth ambulance to help respond to calls.    

The province's largest health authority said it tries to have at least one ambulance on standby at all times, but that on Friday that vehicle was also called into service, which resulted in the red alert.

As per protocol, during a red alert, calls are prioritized and some routine calls, such as patient transfers, may be delayed.

Eastern Health said an operational review of the Paramedicine and Medical Transport Division team is currently underway.

It's being conducted by outside organization, Pomax Consulting — a company that deals with the medical transport field.

Eastern Health hopes the review will be completed by the end of February.