The Toronto Paramedic Services Community Paramedicine Program was created in the fall of 1999. The program is a non-emergency, community-based service with a focus on health promotion, system navigation and injury prevention. Among emergency medical services, Toronto is at the forefront with a number of innovative community programs.
CREMS (Community Referrals by EMS) has been extremely successful since its inception in the early spring of 2006. In this program, referrals are made by paramedics who respond to 911 calls based on a determination that a patient is in need of additional healthcare or support services. These referrals are made to the appropriate Community Care Access Centre for further assessment and determination of the types of service best suited to the patient’s needs.
The Community Paramedicine Program took the lead in bringing together the Fenestration Canada (formerly CWDMA) and the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (formerly EMSCC) to form the Partners Promoting Window and Balcony Safety for Children program. Partners Promoting Window and Balcony Safety has created an educational website with various prevention and supervision tips for parents and caregivers as well as information brochures that can easily be printed. Please visit www.windowandbalconysafety.ca for more information. Thirteen EMS agencies across Canada have joined Fenestration Canada and the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada to pursue the goal of preventing children’s falls from windows and balconies through education, proper supervision and the use of safety devices.
The perspectives and focus of the Community Paramedicine Program change with the seasons. In the early spring and summer, Toronto Paramedic Services is a member of the Hot Weather Response Plan Committee. Before the cold winter months set in, the CPP helps train homeless outreach teams and agencies for their “Out of the Cold” program by providing seminars on recognition of hypothermia and cold-related injuries.
Beginning in 1999, Toronto was one of the first paramedic agencies in Ontario to provide influenza vaccination to homeless and marginally-housed persons through clinics held in shelters and drop-in centres and by appointment, to ‘shut-in’ persons living in the community. Immunization was also provided to the staff of Toronto Paramedic Services. Toronto Paramedic Services has in the past assisted Toronto Public Health with Hepatitis A and Meningitis C Vaccinations.
Community Agency Notification (CAN) Program
Keeping people connected to their supports
The Community Agency Notification (CAN) program is an electronic messaging system used by Toronto Paramedic Services to notify community service agencies when their registered clients have had contact with Toronto paramedics. The notification allows the community agency to better respond to their clients’ changing needs and support them during their transitions through the health care system.
Here’s how CAN works:
- A client provides consent and is registered with their community agency.
- The client’s details are entered into the CAN system.
- If the CAN client has contact with Toronto Paramedics, a message is sent to the client’s community agency.
- The community agency will typically follow up to determine how to best support the client whether they are at a hospital or at home.
To be eligible for the CAN program, a person must
- be living in the City of Toronto,
- be a client of a community agency that is participating in CAN,
- provide consent to the agency and Toronto Paramedic Services.
If you are a interested in registering with CAN, please contact your community agency to see if the program is available.
Community agencies interested in becoming a CAN partner should contact:
Toronto Paramedic Services
4330 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON M3H 5R9