Critical care services get boost with new Ornge base in Hamilton


Published June 27, 2023 at 1:02 pm


The Hamilton region will get expanded access to critical care paramedics and land ambulances.

Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance and critical care transport service provider, is opening a new, permanent base in Hamilton.

Ornge announced today (June 27) that the critical care land ambulance base “will be a new resource to support the transport of critically ill individuals between hospitals in the Golden Horseshoe.”

Some of the areas the base will support include Niagara, Halton, Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph. It can also provide services outside these communities if required.

“Each patient transport request is reviewed by Ornge to identify the most appropriate vehicle (ambulance, helicopter, airplane). Factors including time, distance and severity of the patient condition are factors in this decision. Our Critical Care Land Ambulances only complete patient transfers between two healthcare facilities,” said Joshua McNamara, communications adviser for Ornge, in an email to

The base aims to open this fall. It will operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  

“This new base represents a significant investment in critical care patient transport services,” said Dr. Homer Tien, president and CEO of Ornge, in a statement. “We are confident it will strengthen our ability to deliver the highest standard of care to the people of Hamilton and surrounding communities.”

Ornge said the new base will alleviate the pressure on municipal land ambulance services and hospitals to provide staff for critical transfers. The facility will allow Ornge to increase air ambulance services for rural and remote areas, it added. 

Ornge’s other land ambulance bases across the province include those in Mississauga, Peterborough, Ottawa and Chatham-Kent.

The Hamilton base will share the new location with CritiCall Ontario, the province’s 24-hour-a-day emergency consultation and referral service for hospital-based physicians. The base at 1725 Upper James Street will have highway access, allowing Ornge to more easily reach  hospitals throughout the region. 

 “CritiCall Ontario, Hamilton Health Sciences and Ornge have been key partners in ensuring the safe, efficient movement of patients between hospitals, particularly during periods of surge,” said Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, in a statement. Hamilton Health Sciences is home to regional critical care programs including trauma, burns and cardiac.


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