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New paramedic station downtown will help improve call response times

Renovations are expected to be completed by April
The city leased this building on the corner of Gordon and Fountain streets to be used by Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Service. Keegan Kozolanka/GuelphToday

The Guelph Wellington Paramedic Service is moving a paramedic station to Downtown Guelph to improve its call times.

Currently, the city is using a temporary post at 614 York Rd. which will be replaced by a newly-leased 5,000 sq/ft building located on the corner of Gordon Street and Fountain Street W., just west of the Guelph Police Headquarters.

The building was most recently used as a Green Party campaign office for the 2019 federal election and in the past has housed several automotive-related businesses.

“We do meet the call response times at York Road, but we do anticipate an improvement when we move into the Gordon Street location,” said Leanne Swantko, deputy chief with the Guelph Wellington Paramedic Service (GWPS).

She said while the city is currently meeting its time response standards, moving to the downtown area can further improve the already successful regional target. The current post at 614 York Road will be closing when this site opens next year. The main paramedic station remains at the Clair Road Emergency Services Centre.

“We're hoping to move into that location in April depending on the renovation at that site,” said Swantko.

“It should be that much better. It's closer to the hospital and for crews to get in and out of the station in a timely manner.”

The GWPS has nine full paramedic stations and one post (temporary location) across their coverage area of 2,600 sq/km across Guelph and Wellington County. Guelph has two stations, one on Elmira Road and one on Clair Road. The post on 614 York Rd is currently the only post in the area. 

Improvements in the new building include increasing garage door size and the base of the facility. It also includes cosmetic work inside the facility and decreasing the large window sizes to make it more secure. 

Swantko said the GWPS hopes to have three ambulances run out of the new station. She also said there will also be a lunchroom area, reports area, lounge, and storage area

The city is currently conducting a building evaluation before it begins construction and will include COVID-19 safety precautions once it opens. 

“We definitely made sure there’s enough space for people to space out and socially distance when they can,” said Swantko.