Frequently Asked Questions

About Peel paramedics

Becoming a Peel paramedic

Using Peel Regional Paramedic Services

Public education and safety

Paramedic stations and equipment

New Stations

About Peel paramedics

How many paramedics work in Peel?

More than 650 full- and part-time paramedics work for Peel Regional Paramedic Services.

Do all paramedics provide the same level of care?

No. In Peel region, a paramedic can be either a Primary Care Paramedic or an Advanced Care Paramedic.

All paramedics start as Primary Care Paramedics. A Primary Care Paramedic can provide patient assessments and some emergency medical treatment.

The additional medical education and training that an Advanced Care Paramedic has lets him/her provide a wider range of medical treatments in an emergency.

Learn more about the different levels of paramedic care.

How many emergency calls do Peel paramedics respond to per day?

Peel Paramedics respond to (approximately) one call every four minutes. In 2018, they responded to 136,000 calls throughout Peel region.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

You might find the answer in our About Peel Paramedics section. You’ll also find more detailed information in Our Service Commitment.

If you still can’t find your answer, call 905-791-7800, ext. 3951 or e-mail us.

Becoming a Peel paramedic

How do I become a Peel paramedic?

To become a paramedic in the province of Ontario, you must:

  • be a high school graduate.
  • finish a recognized paramedic program at an Ontario college.
  • pass a provincial exam after you graduate from the paramedic program.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Region of Peel:

  • hires the best people for the job, based on qualifications, skills and experience.
  • strives for a balanced workforce that reflects Peel’s diverse community.

Visit Education and Training for more information about prerequisites and the four-step process to becoming a paramedic in Peel.

What do paramedics do on a typical day?

A Peel Region paramedic crew responds to an average of five to 10 calls per shift.

During a typical 12-hour shift, a Peel paramedic will:

  • start the shift at a station.
  • check the ambulance and all the equipment.
  • study, take a break, have a meal or work on a computer between calls.
  • spend time in “offload delays”: waiting with a patient at the hospital until the nursing staff is able to take over the patient’s care.
  • return the ambulance to the station at the end of the shift.
  • attend to calls for assistance.

Do all paramedics have to work night shifts?

Yes. All Primary and Advanced Care Paramedics must work both day and night shifts regardless of rank or seniority.

How much does a Peel paramedic make?

A Primary Care Paramedic earns approximately $36.52 to $38.80 per hour; an Advanced Care Paramedic earns approximately $40.92 to $43.46 per hour.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

You might find the answer in our About Peel Paramedics section.

If you still can’t find your answer, call 905-791-7800, ext. 3951 or e-mail us.

Using Peel Regional Paramedic Services

When should I call 9-1-1?

Call 9-1-1 during an emergency situation only. An emergency is any situation when a person’s safety or health is at risk and they need immediate help.

Examples of a medical emergency include:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • a fractured or broken bone
  • a wound that needs stitches
  • severe pain or shortness of breath
  • choking or difficulty breathing
  • signs of a stroke:
    • a sudden, severe headache
    • vision problems
    • sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg
    • trouble speaking
    • dizziness
  • a child experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting who won’t eat or drink
  • a baby younger than six months with a fever above 37.9°C (100°F)
  • a baby six months or older with a fever above 38.5°C (101°F)

Visit 9-1-1 Emergency Service for more information about 9-1-1 calls.

What happens when I call 9-1-1?

When you dial 9-1-1, a professionally trained Emergency Communicator will answer your call and then connect you to Ambulance, Police or Fire depending on the emergency situation.

They will ask you what the emergency is, your name, and the location of the ill or injured person.

When paramedics arrive on the scene, they’ll need to know the injured/ill person’s medications, past medical history and Ontario Health Card number.

Visit 9-1-1 Emergency Service for more information about 9-1-1 calls.

Do I have to pay for paramedics to take me to the hospital?

Yes. You’ll be billed $45 if paramedics take you to the hospital.

Part of this $45 charge pays the hospital and part goes to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Many supplemental insurance policies will pay for this charge, which is collected by the hospital (not Peel Regional Paramedic Services).

If I go to Emergency in an ambulance, will I see a doctor sooner than if I go on my own?

No, not necessarily. Patients brought in by paramedics don’t always see a doctor sooner. How quickly an emergency room doctor sees you depends on the severity of your illness or injury.

A nurse will assess your medical condition before a doctor sees you, whether you walk into the emergency department or arrive by ambulance. A person with an urgent medical need will be seen and treated before a person with a less urgent need.

Why can’t I choose the hospital I want?

9-1-1 Emergency Communicators (the people who answer your 9-1-1 calls) know what’s going on in the emergency system at all times. So the person who answered your 9-1-1 call will direct the paramedics to the hospital that can best treat your condition.

A 9-1-1 Emergency Communicator chooses a hospital by considering:

  • the seriousness of your illness or injury.
  • how busy Peel’s hospital emergency rooms are at the time.
  • whether you need specialized care and which hospital provides it.

Peel paramedics might tell a 9-1-1 Emergency Communicator which hospital you’d prefer; however, to give you the best care the 9-1-1 Emergency Communicator will make the final decision.

Will a paramedic help me if I go straight to a paramedic station?

Yes, but paramedics are often away from their stations responding to emergency calls, so there’s no guarantee that a paramedic will be there when you arrive.

Always call 9-1-1 to make sure you get the emergency care you need.

Does having a paramedic station in my neighbourhood mean paramedics will get to me sooner?

Not necessarily. Many factors affect how quickly paramedics get to you:

  • Offload delay – paramedics spend a lot of time waiting with their patients in hospitals until hospital staff take over a patient’s care
  • Volume of emergency calls
  • Misuse of 9-1-1 (paramedics unavailable because they’re responding to non-emergencies)
  • Traffic congestion

When your 9-1-1 call comes in, the paramedics who work out of your nearest station might already be responding to another emergency call. If the paramedics at your nearest station are unavailable, the 9-1-1 Emergency Communicator will dispatch the next-closest paramedic crew.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

You might find the answer on our 9-1-1 Emergency Service website or in our Safety and Emergency Tips section.

If you still can’t find your answer, call 905-791-7800, ext. 3951 or e-mail us.

Public education and safety

Where can I get CPR training?

The Peel Paramedic Association, St. John Ambulance, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian Red Cross all offer CPR training.  

Where can I learn First Aid?

St. John Ambulance offers different levels of First Aid courses. Visit their courses and training page to learn more.

What’s in a household first aid kit?

Your household first aid kit should have all the supplies you’ll need in an emergency, such as Band-Aids, pressure dressings, tweezers and scissors.

Visit Emergency First Aid Tips for a full list of supplies to include in your personal first aid kit, family pack, car emergency kit and more.

Can I ride with a paramedic in an ambulance?

No. Due to patient confidentiality and health and safety concerns, Peel Regional Paramedic Services doesn’t offer ride-outs on any of our ambulances.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

You might find the answer on our 9-1-1 Emergency Service website or our Emergency First Aid Tips section.

If you still can’t find your answer, call 905-791-7800, ext. 3951 or e-mail us.

Paramedic stations and equipment

How many ambulances run during the day and night?

At peak times, paramedics in 61 ambulances and eight Rapid Response Units care for approximately 1.4 million people and cover 1,225 square kilometres in Peel.

How many paramedic stations are there in Peel?

There are 17 paramedic stations across Peel with plans to build 25 new stations by 2019. Visit our paramedic stations pages to learn more about the new stations we’re building.

Why are there two types of paramedic stations?

Our two types of paramedic stations serve different purposes:

  • Reporting stations are approximately 40,000 square feet and include training space. Their large size means more space to house the equipment and resources paramedics need to provide pre-hospital emergency care. Paramedics will report to work at a reporting station before going to a satellite station to await an emergency call.
  • Satellite stations are smaller – approximately 2,800 square feet. Their smaller size makes them easier to place in strategic locations throughout the community so paramedics can get to emergencies faster. When paramedics are not with a patient, they will await their next emergency call at a satellite station.

Why isn’t there a station in my neighbourhood?

In 2007, Peel Paramedics hired an independent firm to research and recommend the types of paramedic stations Peel needs and where they should be located.

We used the findings of the Health Analytics Report(PDF 660KB) to decide where each new station would go. The report recommended that our new stations be built in areas with a large volume of emergency calls. Each site also has to meet specific site and geographic criteria.

New stations

Why is the Region building new paramedic stations?

Back in 2001, when the Province of Ontario gave the Region responsibility for running paramedic services, many of Peel’s paramedic stations were either older units or were in industrial areas that didn’t support what paramedics need to best care for the community.

So in June 2007, Peel Regional Council approved a 10-year facilities plan based on recommendations from the Health Analytics consultant’s report. This report included new stations strategically located throughout Peel to help:

  • paramedics get to emergencies faster.
  • meet the growing health care needs of the Peel community.
  • make better use of the service’s resources.
  • provide a healthier workplace for paramedics.

How will the new stations help paramedics get to emergencies faster?

The new stations will help paramedics get to emergencies faster because they are strategically located to be in areas with a higher volume of emergency calls. When paramedics are not with a patient, they will wait for their next emergency at a satellite station – shortening the distance between paramedics and emergencies.

Will the new stations change the way I get help?

No. The process for getting help will stay the same.

In an emergency, you’ll still call 9-1-1. An Emergency Communicator will respond, get the information about the severity of your emergency and send paramedics to care for you.

Is it true that Bolton's paramedic station is being relocated to Brampton, and that Bolton residents will have to wait longer for an ambulance to arrive in an emergency?

Bolton's paramedic station is not being relocated to Brampton; however, as we move towards a new model of delivery, paramedics will begin and end their shift at a large station in Brampton just like police officers do at the OPP station in Caledon East. Like the OPP, the paramedics will then go to their assigned areas in and around your neighbourhood and respond to emergency calls from there. Rest assured, Bolton will continue to have a fine level of service. Peel paramedics are always close by and other Peel ambulances are pulled into the area when paramedics take patients to nearby hospitals. The Bolton community will continue to be well protected by Peel paramedics.

Will having a paramedic station close by mean more traffic in my neighbourhood?

No. To cover the emergency needs of the community at all times, paramedic shift start and end times are staggered throughout the day. Spreading out the times that paramedics start and end their shifts reduces the amount of traffic to and from the stations.

Will my property value rise with a new paramedic station in my neighbourhood?

No. There’s no evidence that having a paramedic station in a neighbourhood will change the value of property in that area.

How often will I hear sirens going off?

Paramedics on an emergency call usually use sirens only at traffic lights when they need other motorists to move out of the way. Paramedics use only their lights — not sirens — when they’re able to safely drive to their destination.

Where can I find information about Lorne Park satellite station?

Please visit the New Stations webpage for specific FAQs about Lorne Park satellite station.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

You might find the answer on our Feasibility Study Project page, Our Service Commitment page or in the Health Analytics Report (PDF 660KB).

If you still can’t find your answer, call 905-791-7800, ext. 3951 or e-mail us.

Peel Region Emergency Program911 Emergency Service

In an emergency, always call 9-1-1

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