Local dealer donates cars for paramedics


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FORGET the Ford Focus. A new crew of community paramedics could soon cruise the city in Chevy's newfangled station wagon.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/11/2009 (4879 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

FORGET the Ford Focus. A new crew of community paramedics could soon cruise the city in Chevy’s newfangled station wagon.

Local car dealer Jim Gauthier is donating a new Chevrolet HHR compact station wagon and a Dodge Caliber hatchback for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service to use during the H1N1 pandemic.

To deal with an influx of 911 calls, the city is on the cusp of launching a new posse of paramedics who will travel the city in cars instead of ambulances.

The one-man units, tentatively called the primary treatment and referral service (PTRS), will be more like nurses who make house calls. They’ll be able to triage and treat some of the thousands of non-life-threatening cases called in to 911 every year — everything from worrisome flu to sprained ankles, diabetes and seizures.

The idea is to take pressure off ambulances and help ease the long wait times at city emergency rooms. If it works well during the pandemic, the city hopes the community paramedics will become a permanent part of the city’s emergency services.

Once the PTRS is launched, the city can ramp up to four cars.

— Mary Agnes Welch

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