On April 8, York Region Paramedic Services handed over the keys to a decommissioned ambulance to Caribbean North Charities Foundation, a registered Canadian charity that provides humanitarian aid and medical equipment to communities in the Caribbean.
The donated vehicle will support the delivery of much-needed medical services to communities in Dominica, which was impacted by hurricanes in 2017
“When we donate ambulances and medical equipment to other countries, we play a role in helping others receive life-saving medical treatment when and where they need it,” said Wayne Emmerson, York Region chairman and CEO. “Ambulance donations are an important way York Region can contribute to agencies here at home and around the world. This is an excellent way to extend the life of our ambulances so they can be used to benefit even more individuals, families and health providers.”
In York Region, ambulances that reach an established life cycle of five years or 250,000 kilometres are removed from use. Older ambulances continue to be well-maintained and safe so they can be repurposed to serve other communities in need. In 2019, York Region will decommission 13 ambulances, with two eligible for donation. Since 2011, the region has approved the donation of 10 decommissioned ambulances.
“Many developing countries find it challenging for health providers to respond readily to emergency needs with medications and relevant equipment,” said Harry Harakh, Caribbean North Charities Foundation president and CEO. “This ambulance will help ensure first responders in the Commonwealth of Dominica can continue to save lives by being able to attend to and transport distressed patients from remote villages to the nearest hospital, as well as provide transfers from out-of-town hospitals to the main tertiary care hospital in the city under the supervision of an EMS professional.”
Photo: York Region Paramedic Services donated a decommissioned ambulance to Caribbean North Charities. From the left: Chris Spearen, York Region Paramedic Services acting chief and general manager; Frances Delsol, Dominica trade and investment commissioner; Wayne Emmerson, York Region chairman and CEO; Harry Harakh; Caribbean North Charities Foundation president and CEO; Tom Vegh, Town of Newmarket deputy mayor and York Region councillor; Iain Park, York Region Paramedic Services deputy chief.