Revised on 12 May 2003


Report to/Rapport au:



28 April 2003 / le 28 avril 2003


Submitted by/Soumis par:   Services de protection et d’urgence 


Contact Person/personne-ressource:  Anthony Di Monte, Director/Directeur

Emergency Medical Services / Services médicaux d’urgence

580-2424, ext.22458,




Ref N°: ACS2002-EPS-EMS-0005  



emergency medical services Headquarters – PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (p3) update








That the Emergency and Protective Services Committee receive this report for information.




Que le Comité des services de protection et d’urgence  prenne connaissance des renseignements contenus dans le présent rapport.




In early 2000, internationally recognized Emergency Medical Services Consultant Fitch & Associates was retained to develop a performance based system design for ambulance services within the City of Ottawa.  The Fitch design proposed a single report to work station in the high-density area to allow for efficient and effective use of supervisory staff, vehicle maintenance staff and paramedics.  Fitch proposed that the single start station would minimize movement during the shift period while allowing for maximum coverage and improved response times.


Because of time constraints leading up to the January 1, 2001 implementation date, staff established a temporary Single Report to Work Station at 530 Tremblay Road.  The Tremblay facility does not meet the current operational requirements of the Emergency Medical Services Branch and the building lease expired at the end of 2002 (a one-year lease extension is currently being negotiated with the Ontario Realty Corporation). 


The preliminary space requirement for the Emergency Medical Services headquarters is approximately 95,000 to 100,000 square feet that includes a vehicle processing area in the order of 45,000 square feet to process approximately 70 EMS vehicles and the remaining space requirements for the administration components of operations, logistics and ancillary functions.  It is anticipated that the total site requirement would be between approximately 6 to 8 acres.


Council approved the Emergency Medical Services’ Headquarters project to proceed as a P3 initiative as presented in the October 2002 report entitled Public Private Partnerships – Projects for Earliest Implementation.  The Public Private Partnership approach to the design, construction, financing and operations of a new EMS facility will enhance and improve emergency medical service delivery to the citizens of Ottawa.  The Public Private Partnership will allow the City to preserve capital while meeting the infrastructure needs of a critical service delivery agent in the City. 


A three-stage process  (Request for Qualifications (RFQ); Request for Proposals (RFP); and, Negotiations and Agreement) will be used to select a successful proponent. Details of the process, and progress to date, are provided in the following sections.




For the past 28 months Emergency Medical Services has reaped the benefits of a single report to work station albeit in temporary and less than ideal facilities.  The single report to work station has supported improved operational reliability, financial value for money and performance accountability.  The EPS department is preparing to proceed with a P3 process to build the Emergency Medical Services Headquarters facility.


1) Purpose of the Facility


The proposed facility will house three of the four divisions that comprise Emergency Medical Services and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The Communications division (Central Ambulance Communications Centre) will remain separate from the Emergency Medical Services Headquarters facility.  The three divisions (Logistics, Operations and Program Development) of EMS will be provided with the space and equipment to maximize operational efficiency.  The Director’s office is central to the administration of our Emergency Medical Service operation.


Logistics Division


The Logistics Division is responsible for Emergency Medical Services’ vehicle preparatory services including cleaning, fitting out, staging and deployment of all ambulances and other emergency response vehicles.  All vehicles are maintained in a “ready state” for the next shift of paramedics.   There are a total of 68 vehicles. The process of preparing, both stocking and re-stocking of medical and drug kits for each ambulance are integral to the overall operation.  There is also a maintenance operation whereby Equipment and Supply Technicians repair all equipment, aside from vehicles, including such items as defibrillators, monitors, suction units, stretchers, and communication devices (cell phones, radios and pagers) used in each ambulance.  Equipment Controllers control the release and return of vehicles and equipment.  Finally there is the need for the recycling of reusable equipment/products and disposal of unusable supplies and bio-hazardous products through proper waste management procedures.


Operations Division


The Operations Division is responsible for the deployment of the Paramedics and providing emergency medical services to the public.  The Headquarters facility will be the centre for the coordination and scheduling for all paramedics reporting for duty as well as leaving their shifts.  Paramedic Team Leaders supervise the staff activities. Paramedics once they leave the Headquarters facility are dynamically deployed, responding to calls and providing emergency response coverage by positioning at strategically located posts serving the emergency medical service needs of the their respective community zones and then return back to this Headquarters facility. There are five platoons of nearly 300 Paramedics that provide a 24/7 operation. The deployment of both emergency vehicles and Paramedics corresponds to the demand for service, which is variant dependent on time of day and day of week.


Program Development Division


The Program Development Division is responsible for the recruitment and training of all new staff including Paramedics as well as updating current staff with new procedures and methods. The Paramedic’s medical scope of practice and accountability has increased significantly during the past two years.  Program Development staff is responsible for the Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement metrics that qualify our service to our administration, customers and taxpayers.  The Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement inputs (documentation requirements, reporting mechanisms, and clinical assessments) assist Paramedics in improving both the service to the patient but also the information systems on how best to improve an already excellent service. 


Program Development is coordinating our evolution from a Basic Life Support (BLS) service with two Primary Care Paramedics per ambulance to an Advanced Life Support (ALS) service with a Primary Care Paramedic and an Advanced Care Paramedic.  In addition, our staff continues to develop programs for enhanced services in highly skilled areas such as Tactical Emergency Medical Service (TEMS), Bike Teams and Marine Teams.  Our Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) preparedness is attributable to the work of this program area.


The Community Awareness section administers the Public Access Defibrillation Program. Our Community Awareness programs are public service oriented and as such invite citizens are to learn how to provide basic cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and operate an automated external defibrillator (AED).  We are responsible for training thousands of citizens in CPR and AED.


Administrative support staff supports all Divisions and the Director’s office. Corporate Centres of Expertise (Finance, Human Resources, Fleet Services) are co-located at the Headquarters to provide their support services as well.

2) Site Criteria


In order to ensure maximum effectiveness, the mandatory location requirements for the Emergency Medical Services Headquarters are that the site must:


  1. Be located within the geographic area specified by Emergency Medical Services, to respond to their operational service requirements (see Appendix A - map);


  1. Be properly zoned as a permitted use, to avoid uncertainty with respect to project delivery time and risk;


  1. Be located on an existing freehold property with title capable of being conveyed to the City without the need for consent (severance) or plan of subdivision;


  1. Be located with access onto an existing public street providing municipal water and sewer services with adequate capacity;


  1. Be provided with adequate utilities including hydro, natural gas, cable television, telephone, and broadband communications with the level of service of a T1 trunk or better;


In addition to these mandatory location requirements, it is preferred that the site should:


  1. Be located with the most direct access to an interchange along Highway 417, 416, or 174, to reduce trip times;


  1. Be located with the most direct access to the arterial road system, with more than one relatively direct route to the downtown core, to provide an alternative route should the most direct route be impassable;


  1. Be able to provide an all-movement vehicular access onto the adjacent public street;


  1. Be located with the most direct access to existing or planned transitways, to provide a congestion-free alternative route to the downtown core;


  1. Be provided with pedestrian connections to transit service, to provide employees and visitors with the opportunity to travel by transit;


  1. Be located on a lot that is not adjacent to an existing or potential heavy industrial use characterized as a land use with: significant amounts of outside storage; outdoor processing of raw and unfinished products or equipment; and/or a high probability of emitting airborne particles, odour, noise, or vibration that will have adverse effects on the use proposed for the lot.


  1. Be located on a lot that is not in close proximity to rail lines, gas lines or other, so as to render the facility vulnerable to potential catastrophic events.

3)  Public Private Partnership Process


The anticipated option for this particular P3 initiative is to seek a design/build/finance/operate/ transfer partnership. A three-stage process will be used to select a successful proponent.


Stage 1: Request for Qualifications (RFQ) – June 2003

Stage 2: Request for Proposals (RFP) – September 2003

Stage 3: Negotiations and Agreement  - Early 2004


The Emergency and Protective Services department has currently retained Delcan Corporation to prepare a building program of requirements and design brief that will form part of the terms of reference for the P3 project.


The purpose of the RFQ stage is to identify from the interested parties, those teams with the required knowledge, ability, and financial capacity to deliver an acceptable solution to the City’s expressed need for the design, construction, financing and operations of an EMS Headquarters facility. Proponents will also be able to qualify their proposed site at this stage of the process. Proposed sites will be evaluated against the site criteria presented in this report to determine their suitability for this project.  The Emergency and Protective Services department has identified a default City owned parcel of land in the Ottawa Business Park on Don Reid Drive in the event that the proposed sites identified by proponents do not meet the aforementioned site criteria.


The teams, which are short-listed, will then be invited to submit more detailed proposals in the RFP stage, which indicate how their proposal provides the best value to the City and meets the City’s objectives.  Once the preferred proponent is selected, negotiations will take place to develop the partnership agreement. This assumes that the best proposal represents a benefit to the city, as per the Public Sector Comparator (PSC) that will be developed for this project


At each stage, a report will come forward to City Council.




As per Council’s direction, a public meeting will be held in the community where this facility is proposed for development.  This meeting will be organized with the preferred private sector partner prior to the completion of the final negotiations stage.




The Public Private Partnership will defer capital costs to be borne in a lease payment over a fixed term.   At the end of the term, it is intended that the building and property will revert back to the city for a nominal amount.




Appendix A - Map of Acceptable Geographic Area to Locate Facility

Appendix A