News release

Ambulance Operations Receive Top Honours

Nova Scotians receive exceptional emergency care from paramedics, nurses and others working as part of the province's ambulance system, according to a national accreditation agency.

Emergency Health Services earned a perfect rating and a special commendation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, Health Minister Maureen MacDonald announced today, Nov. 26, at the Nova Scotia Emergency Department Symposium in Halifax.

"Paramedics are highly qualified with sophisticated equipment, who bring emergency care to our doorsteps, our workplaces and wherever we need it," said Ms. MacDonald. "They save time and lives in an emergency, and will play a key role in our plan to provide better care sooner for families in every region."

To be accredited, ambulance operators must meet more than 100 standards. They include, mutual aid and disaster co-ordination, training, community education, clinical standards and quality improvement.

"Any ambulance operation can claim it is delivering quality service, but an accredited one can prove it," said Sarah McEntee, executive director, Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. "What is happing on the administrative side affects operations. Operational decisions affect clinical performance. Clinical performance drives training and improvement programs. Nova Scotia demonstrated all these are working extremely well together."

This is the third time Emergency Health Services has been accredited, but the first time with no deficiencies.

"We owe our great success to our employees," said Paula Poirier, chief operating officer of Emergency Medical Care Inc., the province's ambulance operator. "Commission standards are something that we live and breathe every day, and this is reflected in the incredible people in this organization. Our paramedics, nurses, communications officers and support staff made this happen through their diligence, attentiveness and professionalism."

Emergency Health Services is one of only two operations that are accredited in Canada. Nova Scotia was the first jurisdiction to successfully complete accreditation in 2004.


An independent accreditation agency has given the province's ambulance system a perfect score.

Emergency Health Services had zero problems in meeting more than 100 standards according to the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services.

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald says the result demonstrates government's commitment to high-quality patient care.

Nova Scotia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to get ambulance system accreditation.


Media Contacts:

John Muir
Department of Health 902-424-2583 E-mail:
Krista Beck
Emergency Health Services 888-255-6606 E-mail: