Cape Dorset, Iglulik, Clyde River and Taloyoak will be receiving donated emergency response vehicles on sealift thanks to the Region of Peel in Ontario.
The Peel regional government and its paramedics decided to ship the retired ambulances from their fleet to Nunavut. The vehicles, which are several years old, were driven to Quebec to be loaded on barges earlier this week.
“It’s a good deal for Nunavut, for sure,” said Brian Fleming, executive director of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities, who added that the communities are only required to cover the cost of shipping.
The search is on for a fifth used ambulance because the City of Iqaluit is looking for a replacement for its backup, Fleming noted.
The donation will make a big difference in Iglulik, said senior administrative officer Greg Morash.
“When you’re transporting patients in the back of a half-ton (truck) or whatever, it’s not pleasant,” he said, referring to the practice that had been used for many years. “So at least now they’ll be warm and comfortable (in the back of an ambulance)… it will be better care for the patients.”
Morash added that the ambulances – each equipped with a stretcher – have been excellently maintained and are in “tip-top” condition.