Toronto Paramedic Services is the sole provider of emergency medical response for the City of Toronto: a service area encompassing 650 square kilometres with a daytime population of 3.5 million people. This makes Toronto Paramedic Services the largest municipal paramedic service in Canada.

Budget Notes

Toronto Paramedic Services is an industry leading, public service organization that exists to protect the quality of life in Toronto by providing superior and compassionate pre-hospital and out-of -hospital medical care, responding to patients with health emergencies and to the special needs of vulnerable communities through integrated, mobile, paramedic-based health care.
View the Toronto Paramedic Services Program Map in greater detail.

Toronto Paramedic Services is the sole provider of emergency medical response for the City of Toronto: a service area encompassing 650 square kilometres with a daytime population of 3.5 million people. This makes Toronto Paramedic Services the largest municipal paramedic service in Canada.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $214.874 million gross and $73.298 million net.

Base pressures of $2.737 million primarily due to the increase in WSIB claims cost of $2.536 million reflecting legislative change have been more than offset by provincial revenue adjustments related to Land Ambulance and CACC grants.

Fast Facts

  • Toronto Paramedic Services is the largest municipal paramedic service in Canada.
  • 215 ambulances and response vehicles will transport 231,440 patients to hospital in 2017, a 4.0% increase from 2016.
  • 2017 estimated response time to life threatening calls will improve to 11.4 minutes from 11.6 minutes in 2016 and is expected to improve to 11.3 minutes in 2018.

Trends

  • Since 2005, the number of emergency patient transports provided by Paramedic Services annually has increased by 90,031 patients (64%) from 141,409 transports in 2005 to a projected 231,440 transports in 2017 due to a growing and aging population.
  • In 2017 alone, this translates to approximately 8,900 additional emergency transports over 2016.
  • In spite of the increasing service demands, PS staffing remained relatively unchanged from 2002 to 2012. During the 2013 to 2016 period, City Council approved funding to increase staffing by 220 paramedic positions.
  • With the increased staffing levels and through the implementation of several service efficiency initiatives, PS has been able to maintain a response time of 11.4 minutes in 2017.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

Toronto Paramedic Services (PS) is an industry-leading, public service organization with a mission to protect the quality of life in Toronto. PS is responsible for providing integrated, mobile, paramedic-based health care and transportation of patients with health emergencies as well as pre-hospital and out-of-hospital medical care to the special needs of vulnerable communities.

The 2018 Operating Budget will enable the Paramedic Services Programs to continue to:

  • Provide 24-hour emergency medical response from 45 ambulance stations located across the City with a fleet of 215 ambulances and an approved complement of 1,077 paramedics and 125 emergency medical dispatchers.
  • Achieve targeted response times to life-threatening emergency calls within 11.3 minutes 90% of the time, with response time defined as the elapsed time from the receipt of the emergency call by the Central Ambulance Communications Centre to the arrival of the paramedic crew at the scene.
  • Provide an estimated 240,700 emergency patient transports in 2018, an estimated increase of 4% over the 2017 projection of 231,440 emergency patient transports.
  • Provide an estimated 37,800 hours of continuing medical education to Toronto Paramedic Services staff as mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Paramedic Services’ Base Hospital (medical oversight); upgrade training for 14 Primary Care Paramedics to the Advanced Care Paramedic level; and provision of International Trauma Life Support training to approximately 1,200 students.

Our Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Increase in the number of emergency patient transports with a projected annual increase of 3% to 5% due to a growing and aging population and polarized socio-economic status continues to be a challenge for Toronto Paramedic Services.
    • Continue to improve response times and life-saving programs (e.g., STEMI, a type of heart attack).
    • Utilize part-time paramedics to support the most efficient use of resources.
    • Ongoing improvements to Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems to improve deployment and response time performance.
    • Continue call diversion strategies through Community Paramedicine.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget for Toronto Paramedic Services is $214.874 million gross and $73.298 million net represents a decrease of 6.4% to the 2017 Approved Operating Budget and includes budget reductions identified through the following:
    • Service efficiencies ($0.854 million) redirected to 14 new positions.
    • Revenue adjustments ($6.144 million).
  • Staff complement will increase by 14 positions from 1,453.3 in 2017 to 1,467.3 in 2018.
  • The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget provides funding for:
    • 240,700 emergency patient transports.
    • Emergency medical response 24/7, 365 days a year.
    • 37,800 hours of continuing medical education and provision of International Trauma Life Support training to 1,200 students.

Toronto Paramedic Services (PS) provides 24-hour emergency pre-hospital and out-of-hospital medical care and transportation of individuals experiencing injury or illness through integrated, mobile, paramedic-based health care.

Toronto Paramedic Services operates out of 48 locations including 5 service district offices, 1 Multi-Function Station, and the Toronto Paramedic Services’ headquarters that have a total area of 321,556 sq. ft. and an estimated replacement value of $139.092 million.

The 10-Year Capital Plan of $63.097 million advances Toronto Paramedic Services’ objectives of improving service delivery by investing in multi-function stations for efficient staff deployment and asset management while maintaining the current inventory of medical and mobile data equipment in a state of good repair.

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan will increase future year Operating Budgets by a total of $0.624 million net over the 2018 – 2027 period, primarily for the operation of Multi-Function Station #2 and #3.

Where does the money go?

The 2018 – 2027 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan totalling $63.097 million provides funding of:

  • $15.280 million in Health and Safety projects for the purchase of power stretchers and lifecycle replacement of defibrillators.
  • $9.505 million to continue the state of good repair projects that include annual replacement of mobile data communications hardware and software, ambulance radios, the dispatch console system, and medical equipment.
  • $0.560 million for Service Improvements to acquire 8 Community Paramedicine Vehicles to enable the delivery of an expanded Community Paramedicine at Home Program, which is an operating service expansion request for 2018 subject to Council’s consideration as part of the 2018 budget process.
  • $37.752 million in Growth related initiatives that will provide the necessary capacity to address a growing population. This project category includes construction of 2 multi-function station projects, the purchase of additional ambulances and construction of Ambulance Posts.

Where does the money come from?

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan requires:

  • Debt funding of $29.552 million (46.8%), reflecting an increase of $0.560 million above the 2018-2027 debt target to provide an additional investment for the Community Paramedicine Vehicles project following the City-wide review of unmet capital priorities.
  • Reserve funding of $18.825 million (29.8%) to be provided from the Equipment Reserve Fund.
  • Funding from Development Charges of $14.720 million (23.3%) based on the portion of projects that are eligible.

State of Good Repair Backlog

The 10-Year Capital Plan does not include funding to address the state of good repair (SOGR) backlog for Toronto Paramedic Services’ facilities.  Asset management capital funding for existing ambulance stations and buildings was transferred to Facilities Management & Real Estate (FM&RE) in 2014 to ensure that consistency in maintenance standards are applied to all City facilities.

There is no state of good repair backlog associated with equipment used by paramedics as these are replaced according to the Program’s Equipment Replacement schedule in order to maintain regulatory compliance with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care ensuring service continuity, staff and patient safety.

Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Increase in Emergency Call Demand driven by an aging and growing population will require infrastructure growth. Toronto Paramedic Services’ long term plan envisions building larger stations that will serve as central deployment points for more efficient use of City land/assets and more effective use of paramedic resources with strategically placed smaller storefront ambulance posts.
    • The 10-year Capital Plan includes $34.450 million in funding for 2 Multi-Function Station projects and $2.000 million for 2 Ambulance Posts as part of PS’ modernization of its service delivery model.
  • Ensure the Health & Safety of Paramedics by improving equipment such as power stretchers to help reduce musculoskeletal injuries for paramedics, thereby reducing lost time due to lift related injuries.
    • The 10-year Capital Plan provides $10.000 million in funding for the purchase of 150 Power Stretchers over the 10-Year plan.
    • Funding of $9.505 million is also included for life cycle replacement of medical equipment

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Preliminary Capital Budget for Toronto Paramedic Services of $3.032 million, excluding carry forward funding, will:

  • Deliver 4 new ambulances to meet the increased demand for Paramedic Services ($0.572 million) and 4 emergency response vehicles for Community Paramedics ($0.280 million).
  • Address the health and safety of paramedics and patients by purchasing 8 new power stretchers ($0.400 million)
  • Continue with annual Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) maintenance of mobile data equipment installed in ambulances ($0.500 million) and the replacement of portable radios ($0.550 million) and medical equipment ($0.330 million).
  • Continue preparation of the land and securing appropriate permits for the design and construction of the Multi-Function Station #2 ($0.400 million).

Toronto Paramedic Services 2018 Budget Infographic
Toronto Paramedic Services Infographic