HURON COUNTY – During his October update to the County of Huron, Chief of Emergency Services Jeff Horseman informed the council about an increase in ‘Condition Yellow” declarations during August and September.
“A ‘Condition Yellow’ is defined as the period of time when Huron County has two or less ambulances available to respond to a call for service,” Horseman said in his report. “This does not mean that there was a delay of any kind unless noted otherwise.”
During August and September, there were nine condition yellows in Huron.
On Aug. 19, a ‘Condition Yellow’ occurred at 22:59 and lasted for 181 minutes. During this time, there were multiple emergency calls within the county, and one vehicle was in London on off-load delay, leaving only one vehicle available.
Additional ‘Condition Yellow’ incidents include:
- Aug. 20 - 12 minutes;
- Sept. 4 - 32 minutes;
- Sept. 4 - 60 minutes;
- Sept. 5 - 100 minutes;
- Sept. 13 - 30 minutes;
- Sept. 13 - 99 minutes;
- Sept. 14 - 17 minutes; and
- Sept. 18 - 81 minutes.
Central Huron Coun. Dave Jewitt pulled the report from the consent agenda to inquire about the condition yellows, specifically asking why they appeared to be happening during the night.
Horseman said, “With respect to Coun. Jewitt, for the condition yellows, or code yellows, I’m sure some of you have seen in the media as well that this is a larger kind of global provincial problem that’s occurring with call volumes and off-load delays at different facilities.
“Unfortunately, yes, it does appear that when we have a larger incident at night, or that when we’re held in off-load, with vehicles out of our county, typically we do run into a ‘Condition Yellow’ after midnight. We only have five vehicles on between midnight and 7 a.m.
“Our condition yellows are quite critical; we have two vehicles covering the entire county and usually a supervisor that would be available to first respond as well. Those are timeframes that we’re keeping an eye on when we’re working with our deployment plans and with our consultants in relation to resources going forward in our master plan for 10 years.
“So, it is something that we’re keeping an eye on. But with our call volumes at night increasing, it is becoming problematic.”
Horseman said that he would continue to provide updates to county council as they move forward.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times