New Ambulance Dispatch System to Improve Deployment

Fort Frances, Ontario – 2023/10/24 – Beginning November 8, 2023, Kenora Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC), which oversees calls from the Rainy River District, will move to a new dispatch system. The Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) will improve the deployment of paramedic resources to meet patient needs by matching resources with the clinical situation and prioritizing the most urgent calls to 9-1-1.

With the MPDS, residents from the Rainy River District who call 9-1-1 will be asked detailed questions by the Emergency Medical Dispatchers to help them make quick and effective dispatch decisions based on the patient’s condition.

“When we better understand a patient’s level of urgency, we can triage them, accordingly, matching available paramedic resources with the patient’s condition. This ensures that the right paramedic resources are appropriately dispatched and patients with life-threatening conditions receive care immediately,” said Joshua Colling, Chief of Paramedic Services, Rainy River District.

Examples of medical conditions that will receive the highest priority include cardiac or respiratory arrest, heart attack, severe allergic reaction, and unconscious. With the MPDS, lights and siren resources are only provided for the most time-sensitive patients.

Low-urgency incidents will be dispatched as soon as an appropriate ambulance is available and follow-up call-backs will be made to check on the patient’s status.

The MPDS is a proven tool that has become the industry standard for patient triaging and is already being used in other areas of the province. The expansion of the MPDS to the region is part of the Ontario government’s Your Health plan to ensure that paramedic services provide the right care at the right time, while easing pressure on emergency departments.


Contact: Heather Latter, Communications Officer, District of Rainy River Services Board,
807-274-5349 ext. 243 or

View PDF of the media release

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