Toronto is using repurposed TTC buses to transport patients during the pandemic
Toronto may not have its own fleet of stretch ambulances (which I've just learned are an actual thing), but we do have an abundance of ingenuity at City Hall... and some extra buses at our disposal.
Working together, the TTC and Toronto Paramedic Services just repurposed five decommissioned transit buses to "safely transport both ambulatory and stretcher-bound patients, including those on ventilators."
The City of Toronto unveiled photos of its new, medically-equipped buses on Tuesday, noting that each vehicle can transport eight to ten ambulatory patients (dependant on physical distancing measures) or three people on stretchers at a time.
Each bus will be staffed by one TTC driver and at least three paramedics, providing healthcare professionals with additional options for inter-facility patient transfers, staging areas for large incidents, and shelter space for evacuations.
"The converted buses represent a key component of the City's contingency planning to support seamless, efficient, and timely patient care, while also providing important surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic," reads a release from the city published Tuesday afternoon.
Three buses have already been fully modified to support patients and paramedics, while two more are in the process of being completed. The city says that the first three vehicles were finished yesterday and that they will "soon be on the road, responding to calls as needed."
"I am extremely proud of the innovation and cooperation across our City government to fight COVID-19," said Toronto Mayor John Tory of the buses.
"This project by the TTC and Paramedics, brought together at wartime speed, responds to an urgent need and will help the ill and vulnerable in Toronto immediately," Tory continued.
"We are all working together to do our part in stopping the spread of this deadly virus and take care of everyone in our community."
City of Toronto
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