EMS – Licensing and Compliance

Emergency medical services (EMS) provide pre-hospital care to people who are sick or injured. EMS are a key component of the health care system. Pre-hospital care includes timely and safe medical assessment, treatment, and transportation services to citizens and communities in Manitoba.

Manitoba’s EMS system operates within the broader provincial healthcare delivery system. It is a core health service of the regional health authorities and Manitoba Health.

Key services in the emergency medical services system include:

  • emergency medical dispatch
  • emergency medical response and medical care (land and air)
  • emergency medical transport
  • inter-facility medical transportation
    • Land Ambulance
    • Stretcher Service
    • Specialized – Critical Care Air transport (Fixed Wing and Helicopter)
    • Basic Air Ambulance

Manitoba’s EMS have evolved from numerous independently and municipally-operated ambulance services to a model where Manitoba’s five regional health authorities are now responsible for all land ambulance service delivery. Services are delivered either directly by the regional health authority, or through contracts with affiliate agencies, private sector stretcher service companies, and air ambulance providers.

Since the formation of the regional health authorities in 1997, Manitoba has implemented several new initiatives and changes to emergency medical services including:

  • centralized, provincial fleet vehicle program that purchases and manages a standardized ambulance fleet of more than 175 ambulances
  • medical transportation coordination centre to provide coordinated medical dispatch services in rural and northern Manitoba
  • legislation and regulations that increase the standards for emergency medical services
  • introduction of legislation supporting stretcher services
  • increasing the standards of care
  • increasing the scope of care paramedics can provide
  • introducing college based Primary and Advanced Care Paramedic education programs at Red River College
  • implementing a helicopter emergency medical response system providing rapid response to critical emergencies, improved access to patients in difficult to access areas, and critical inter-facility patient transfers.