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May 23, 2006
Toronto EMS and the Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care take top honours at international EMS conference
Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care (SOCPC) have long been recognized as international leaders in prehospital care and research.

At this year’s National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) conference, that tradition was upheld. Toronto EMS Deputy Chief Alan Craig, on behalf of his co-authors Dr. Brian Schwartz, Dr. Rick Verbeek and Dr. Michael Feldman, accepted the award for “Best EMS Professional Research Presentation.”

The research paper titled, “Development Of Evidenced-Based Dispatch Response Plans To Optimize Advance Life Support (ALS) Paramedic Response In An Urban EMS System,” presents new options for EMS systems in both dispatch and response of advanced care paramedics in the community.

“The issue of getting our advanced care paramedics to patients who most need their skills has challenged EMS systems worldwide for many years,” said Dr. Brian Schwartz, Director of SOCPC. “This research provides valuable insight on how best to allocate these limited paramedic resources most effectively.”

NAEMSP judges presented awards for research in five categories. Toronto EMS and the Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care won three out of the five awards this year.

Toronto Mayor David Miller, on behalf of City Council, presented congratulatory scrolls today to all the Toronto researchers who won the prestigious research awards.

“We are so very proud of Alan Craig’s efforts, working with our Sunnybrook-Osler Base Hospital physicians, in contributing to this important research in the delivery of emergency medical services,” said Bruce Farr, Chief and General Manager of Toronto EMS. “We are also very proud of the awards given to our colleagues Dr. Laurie Morrison, Director, Prehospital and Transport Medicine Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, who won ‘Best Scientific Presentation,’ and Dr. Leah Watson, a research fellow at the University of Toronto, who won ‘Best Student/Fellow Research Presentation’ in collaboration with Bill Sault and Randy Gwyn from Toronto Fire Services.”

The Toronto presentations elicited significant interest from other major international EMS systems.

“These awards for cutting edge research demonstrate that Toronto EMS and SOCPC continue to lead prehospital emergency medical care throughout North America,” added Chief Farr.

The National Association of EMS Physicians meetings, which were held in Tucson, Arizona, January 19 to 21, 2006, were attended by over 400 physicians and EMS leaders from around the world. NAEMSP is a world leader dedicated to advancing emergency medical care, research and training.

For more information about Toronto EMS and the Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care, visit and

Media contacts:
Larry Roberts
Co-ordinator, Media Relations and Communications
416-392-2255 or (cell) 416-708-8125
Rob Burgess
Senior Manager, Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care



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