Muskoka calls out Ornge over poor coverage for Cottage Country
Muskoka officials are not happy with Ornge.
The provincial air ambulance service was invited to speak to the District of Muskoka about coverage for the Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton areas. Muskoka Paramedic Chief Jeff McWilliam says the provincial service has been falling short on coverage for Cottage Country, especially during tourist season. He says it can sometimes take an hour or longer for a helicopter to reach the area.
District Councillor Scott Aitchison says the response to this invitation seems to make it clear how Ornge feels about Muskoka.
Aitchison says McWilliam will send out another invitation to Ornge. Councillor Graydon Smith says the company has a responsibility to respond to these requests.
Smith says the district wants to see Ornge offer service out of the regional airport in Gravenhurst to cover Cottage Country in the summer. A similar seasonal service run by Ornge in Muskoka was shut down seven years ago.
In an emailed response to the MyMuskokaNow Newsroom, Ornge Spokesperson James MacDonald says they value their relationship with their paramedic partners in Muskoka, but the company doesn’t have any plans to bring this seasonal service back to the district. He says Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton are all well-served by the stations set up in Sudbury, Toronto and Ottawa.
The district will be reaching out to officials in Haliburton and Parry Sound for support.