The City of Toronto is supporting the evolving medical needs of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working together, the TTC and Paramedic Services have repurposed five decommissioned TTC buses to safely transport both ambulatory and stretcher-bound patients, including those on ventilators.
Each bus can transport three stretcher-bound patients, eight to ten ambulatory patients (dependant on spacing for physical distancing), plus three paramedics and one driver.
The converted buses represent a key component of the City’s contingency planning to support seamless, efficient, and timely patient care, while also providing important surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. These vehicles provide a variety of multi-patient options, including inter-facility patient transfers, the provision of a staging area for large incidents, and shelter for facility evacuations.
Modifications to three vehicles were completed yesterday and they will soon be on the road, responding to calls as needed. Modifications to two additional buses are underway. Vehicles will be driven by TTC drivers with paramedics seeing to medical needs of patients.
Toronto Paramedic Services is the largest municipal ambulance service in Canada, responding to more than 400,000 calls for emergency service each year. The TTC serves some 500 million customers each year and has grown to become one of the most visible and vital public service organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. As this situation continues to change, so too do the needs of the community. The City will continue to explore innovative solutions to adapt and be flexible in its response to COVID-19.
“I am extremely proud of the innovation and cooperation across our City government to fight COVID-19. This project by the TTC and Paramedics, brought together at wartime speed, responds to an urgent need and will help the ill and vulnerable in Toronto immediately. We are all working together to do our part in stopping the spread of this deadly virus and take care of everyone in our community.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Now, more than ever, the TTC is providing a critical service to keep our city running in this precarious time. Essential workers, first responders, and healthcare professionals at the forefront of our fight against COVID-19 rely on the TTC get to and from work safely every day. This innovative partnership with Toronto Paramedics is one more way the TTC is committed to helping our city stop the spread of COVID-19.”
– Councillor Jaye Robinson, Don Valley West (Ward 15)
“For months, our paramedics and other health care workers have worked tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto. Partnering with the TTC has given paramedics additional capacity to help those who need emergency transportation and respond to the continuing spread of the virus in our congregate facilities. This great idea from the TTC and Toronto Paramedic Services is commendable and serves as an example of what we can accomplish by working together.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, Scarborough Centre (Ward 21), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
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