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December 1, 2003
New EMS Emergency Support Unit vehicles hit the road to serve Toronto
  
Toronto EMS paramedics are better equipped to respond to large-scale medical
emergencies or evacuations because of a high-tech ambulance bus and
multi-purpose support truck which were unveiled today.

"Since 1977, the Emergency Support Unit (ESU) has played a major everyday role
in Toronto EMS' response to large scale accidents, fires and evacuations," said
Bruce Farr, Chief of Toronto EMS. "These new ESU vehicles, which are replacing
older vehicles in our fleet, are specially designed to support multi-patient
medical emergencies like automobile, bus, train or plane crashes, apartment
fires or hospital evacuations. They will also support the City of Toronto's
HUSAR (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue) and CBRN (Chemical Biological Nuclear and
Radiological) emergency response teams."

The new ESU vehicles were launched today at Toronto EMS 35 Station at
Exhibition Place. The state-of-the-art ambulance bus allows specially trained
ESU paramedics to treat up to ten stretcher patients as well as ambulatory
patients at the incident scene or during transport to hospital. An added
feature is that the new bus can be used as a mobile telecommunications and
command centre at the site of major emergencies.

The new emergency support truck, which has emergency power generation
capabilities, can provide medical supplies for mass casualty situations,
specialized equipment for HUSAR and CBRN teams, and backup power and lighting
for night rescues.

"In the last year, Emergency Support Unit paramedics and their specialty
vehicles have been instrumental in our response to a number of major incidents
and events," added Farr. "These new vehicles upgrade our fleet and add to our
operational capacity to rescue, treat and transport patients from disasters in
the Greater Toronto area."

ESU buses were used to evacuate patients from the Osler Health Centre Brampton
Campus during its February power failure and to move several patients between
facilities during the SARS outbreak in March. The buses and support trucks also
played important roles in the City's response to the Etobicoke strip mall
explosion in April, the August blackout, and in Toronto EMS' successful medical
support of the Molson Rocks Toronto Rolling Stones Concert this summer and the
Papal Mass last year.

For more information on the Toronto EMS Emergency Support Unit, see
http://www.toronto.ca/ems/operations/esu.htm.

Media contacts:
Peter Macintyre, Toronto EMS, 416-392-2069
Larry Roberts, Toronto EMS, 416-392-2255



 

 

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