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Prehospital Care

Development of leading systems of prehospital care

Sunnybrook's experts have been instrumental in supporting the development of leading systems of prehospital care.

The Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine

The Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine is the largest Base Hospital Program in Canada, designated by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care to provide medical direction, leadership and advice in the provision of ambulance-based prehospital emergency healthcare across many cities in Ontario. It is one of the most comprehensive medical systems in the world. It is responsible for directing the medical care provided by seven Emergency Medical Services (EMS) across the Province of Ontario that provide emergency ambulance services to approximately 4.5 million people; oversees the activities of over 2,000 paramedics and 3,200 firefighter responders; and is responsible for the care provided to 400,000 EMS patients annually.

Through the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, we also provide state-of-the-art education and paramedic training, program development, program evaluation and research. Our quality assurance programs use a number of toolkits and software to identify and ensure optimal prehospital patient care and performance of EMS.
Our IPPOD group in training

A close up on a trainee at our IPPOD group in training

Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) and Disaster Response

EMAT was established in 2004 as a result of the provincial government's commitment to help Ontario's ability to respond swiftly and effectively to major health emergencies.  Through the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine, Sunnybrook now operates the EMAT. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, EMAT can assist where local healthcare resources are overwhelmed, or respond to emergency health situations, such as an infectious disease or any naturally occurring emergencies.  EMAT is comprised of 150 volunteers who are physicians, nurses, medical radiation technologists, psychosocial health professionals, paramedics and logistic specialists.  This mobile field unit is the first of its kind in Canada, and it can be deployed within 24 hours anywhere in Ontario with road access.

It has the capacity to set up a 56 bed unit that provides a staging and triage base, and has the capability to treat 20 acute care patients and 36 intermediate care patients.  It contains its own medical equipment and supplies, communications center, electricity and water. EMAT provides a staging and triage base for the evaluation and management of patients prior to transport to definitive care. EMAT's capabilities include patient isolation in the case of an infectious disease outbreak, the provision of medical support in the case of a chemical, biological or radiological incident and assistance in managing patients in mass casualty situations.