MISSISSAUGA, Ontario December 20, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ornge, a world leader in transport medicine, reached a major milestone in its five year history today, as the organization transported its 100,000th patient.
All aspects of air ambulance services were divested by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in January 2006 and since became Ornge. Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, was created with the mission of developing a fully integrated, world-class transport medicine system for Ontario.
Since that time, Ornge has transported 100,000 patients more than 33.5 million statute miles (54 million kilometers) — over 1,350 times around the earth or 6,898 times the length of the Trans-Canada highway — in its rotor and fixed wing aircraft, along with critical care land units.
"This milestone is a testament to how far we've come thanks to the hard work and dedication of every member of the Ornge team," said Dr. Christopher Mazza, President and CEO of Ornge. "We are proud to have provided so many Ontarians with excellence in patient care, and we remain committed to continually seeking ways to enhance our service."
"In a province the size of Ontario, a quality service like Ornge is absolutely vital," said Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Ornge -- from pilots, to paramedics, to communications officers -- 100,000 Ontarians so far have received the emergency help they needed. I want to congratulate Ornge on this milestone, and thank the whole team for taking such good care of Ontario families."
"In just five years, Ornge has transformed patient transport into a system that is truly world class, and an integral part of providing quality and timely patient care when it's needed." said Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care.
"Ornge helped save my life," said Anthony Lue, who was airlifted by an Ornge crew after being critically injured in an industrial accident in 2009. "Without the care I received in the air and the quick transport to the hospital, things could have been a lot worse. I now know that thousands of others have stories just like mine."
The demand for transport medicine continues to grow across Ontario. In the last fiscal year alone, the number of patient transports climbed by 5 per cent, including a 2.3 per cent increase in air transports and a 31 per cent increase in land transports.
To address this challenge, Ornge has taken steps to ensure a sustainable provincial transport medicine system for years to come. In September, Ornge introduced its first AgustaWestland AW139 medically-equipped helicopter, which will be added to the fleet of aircraft. Several more AW139's are scheduled to be introduced in 2011. Ornge has also opened Canada's first Centre for Excellence in Transport Medicine in Thunder Bay, a facility capable of housing all three forms of transport medicine: fixed wing, rotor wing and critical care land units. A similar facility will open in Hamilton in 2011.
In addition, Ornge will be expanding its paediatric transport team with the generous assistance of the Rogers Foundation. The newly-renamed Ted Rogers Paediatric Transport Program will operate from both Ottawa and Markham for the benefit of sick and injured children across the province.
Ornge is the world's leading innovator in the emerging field of transport medicine, and operates from a number of bases across the province of Ontario and performs more than 20,000 admissions annually. It coordinates all aspects of Ontario's aero medical transport system, the new critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals. Ornge is dedicated to the provision of high quality patient care through innovative transport medicine.