Central Ambulance Communications Centres (CACCs) across Ontario are expected to dispatch ambulance crews within two minutes for emergency cases.
CACCs are mission-critical, technologically complex and highly organized workplaces providing the initial access point to Ontario’s emergency health services system for victims of illness or injury. There are 22 CACC’s or Ambulance Communication Services across the province.
Ambulance service in Ontario is a seamless program that responds to requests for service and transports patients across municipal boundaries without reference to residence or other demographic factors.
The area of coverage for Sault Ste. Marie CACC is the entire Algoma District, covering over 75 000 square kilometres.
- SSM CACC handles over 25,000 calls for service each year
- SSM CACC dispatches 18 ambulances, 2 Command Units, 20 fire departments and 7 first response teams in the Algoma District
CACC employs 15 full-time union staff, 4 part-time union staff, one full-time admin staff, a manager and an operations/liaison person.
Ambulance Communications Officers answer the call, get the address and patient information and provide potentially life-saving pre-arrival first aid instructions to all callers.
Information is often provided to Health Sciences North Base Hospital Program to further research programs undertaken by them (e.g. termination of resuscitation). We host new paramedics starting their careers with Sault Ste. Marie Paramedic services in order to orient them to the CACC, our roles and responsibilities and teach the importance of emergency communications and teamwork.
We work with our partners in the community in the development and conducting of pilot projects such as diversion programs and patient transfers.
- Communications Officers receive 911, emergency and non-emergency requests for ambulance services, determine the required level of response and provide seamless ambulance dispatching services using the resources provided by the ambulance service operators;
- We provide pre-arrival instructions to callers such as CPR, instructions for epinephrine injectors as well as other lifesaving information along with the provision of basic first aid instruction and working with the caller to help support and provide comfort to them while awaiting paramedics arrival.
- To provide timely and accurate telecommunications services to callers, ambulance service providers and other emergency health services system stakeholders.
- Provincial Policies and Procedures established by the Emergency Health Services Branch, policies around the resource deployment plans established by UTM’s;
- Ambulance Act, Coroner’s Act, Mental Health Act, Highway and Traffic Act, Fire Services Act, Regulated Health Professions Act, Privacy Legislation;
- Provincial Standard Operating Procedures – Computer Assisted Dispatch, Fleet Net Radio System.
Each Communications Officer is monitored by the Quality Programs Officer to ensure that their performance meets the Ministry standards. Communications Officers are government-trained and certified. To read more about the CACC standards, click here to read the CACC Service Commitment document.