ORNGE's medical director has checked out the medical interior of the air ambulance's multimillion-dollar helicopters and found a disaster waiting to happen.Dr. Bruce Sawadsky, in a report written Monday, calls the cramped interior of the brand new AW 139 helicopter a "high risk environment."
His findings? Tough to do CPR. Hard to prop up a patient who is having difficulty breathing. Takes too long to load and unload a patient. Risky, too. Many equipment malfunctions.
Even though paramedics have been warning the province and ORNGE for more than a year, it took until this week for somebody to act.
Ontario taxpayers funded the $144 million purchase of the 12 helicopters (10 are flying) and $7.2 million spent to design and install the medical interiors. The new helicopters went into service in December 2010.