Emergency pre-hospital services are governed by the Act respecting pre-hospital emergency services (Bill 96). They have as their mission to ensure, at all times, that the whole population who call upon their services, have an appropriate, efficient and quality response having as their objective to reduce mortality and morbidity of those people in distress, and this, in function with recognized quality standards.
Bill 96 governs the organisation of pre-hospital emergency services and encourages their integration and harmonisation with all the other health and social services. It also identifies what services must be in place, the different actors in this organisation and defines the rights, role and responsibility of each.
The organisation of pre-hospital services in the region is under the responsibility of the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie.
The Pre-hospital Intervention Chain
When we speak of the emergency pre-hospital services we refer to all the links in the pre-hospital intervention chain :
- Lay rescuer
- The 9-1-1 centre
- The Health Communication Centre (Alerte Santé)
- First Responders resources
- Ambulance resources (Paramedics)
The medical interventions are carried out by qualified and trained people who are the first responders or the ambulance technicians/paramedics.
These interventions which all work to complement each other provide a person whose state of health so requires the services which are necessary from the time they are on scene until the person arrives at the hospital.
The Organisation of Pre-Hospital Services in the Montérégie
With a territory of 11,074 km2 and a population of close to 1,500,000 people, the Montérégie is served by 16 ambulance companies which have over 100 ambulances positioned strategically to respond to emergency calls from the population or the health services network.
The Montérégie is subdivided into 22 ambulance service zones. An ambulance service zone is a territory defined by one or more municipalities in the same socio-sanitary region. More than 600 ambulance technicians/paramedics are trained to respond to the needs of this population.
The pre-hospital sector is in constant evolution. To train and update the skills of the ambulance technicians/paramedics, the Agency of the Montérégie has a team of ambulance technician instructors. To maintain their qualifications, the ambulance technicians/paramedics receive the equivalent of 32 hours of training every year.
All interventions which involve medical acts are subject to a process to ensure quality and on-going improvement.
To date, the ambulance services transport 95,000 patients a year. Among these interventions we find the following :
- 1,300 cases of cardio respiratory failure
- 500 cases involving respiratory assistance
- 8,000 cases in which medications were administered
- 350 interventions in major traumas