Ambulance station in Takhini to reduce wait times, meet national standards

A new ambulance crew at the top of Two Mile Hill will help the city reach the national standard for response times.

A new ambulance crew at the top of Two Mile Hill will help the city reach the national standard for response times.

Yukon Emergency Medical Services hopes to have paramedics to any scene within nine minutes, said Terry Klassen, station manager.

Neighbourhoods like Takhini, Copper Ridge, Granger and Porter Creek had been far out of the nine-minute response time. It takes 10 minutes to get from the Riverdale station to the top of Two Mile Hill.

“It’s in our best interest to get to calls as soon as possible,” said Klassen.

As of Monday, an ambulance crew moved into the Protective Services building at the top of the hill.

A temporary EMS station, located in a trailer in the Protective Services parking lot, will be in operation in early fall. The Riverdale EMS station will still be operational while the temporary one in Takhini will run Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Two staff will work from this location, reducing response times in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Fifty per cent of emergency calls come from these areas, which EMS labelled “the rest of Whitehorse.” This goes along the Alaska Highway from past Crestview, almost to MacRae. Riverdale puts in 10 per cent of emergency calls, and 40 per cent come from the downtown area.

The new, permanent station is to be completed by 2012. Site assessment work is underway and the construction is to begin in the fall.

The cost of the new building, located across the street from the recently built $10-million fire station, is still unknown, said Klassen. But the $420,000 design contract was awarded to Kobayashi and Zedda Architects in March.

Contact Larissa Robyn Johnston at larissaj@yukon-news.com