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Air Ambulance Program
Q&A - Flight

Ontario Air Ambulance Program

There is nothing small about Ontario.

At 1,076,395 km² in size, it occupies nearly eleven percent of Canada's total land area. It is 90% wilderness with nearly one-sixth of the province covered by fresh water. Ontario’s longest north/south distance is 1,730 km, with the distance from Cornwall in the southeast to Kenora in the northwest reaching 2,045 km. Touching the Arctic Circle to the north, its southern-most point is the same latitude as northern California. With the province larger than both Spain and France, it is no wonder that Ontario's air ambulance system is widely regarded as one of the largest and most complex in the world!

Established in 1977, Ontario was the first Canadian province to provide a helicopter-based air ambulance system to transport critically ill patients to hospital. That same year, the Ministry of Health also developed and implemented a training system for critical care flight paramedics who perform advanced life support and controlled medical acts during air transport.

Today, the air ambulance program has become an integral component of the larger emergency health system in communities across the Province. In July 2005, the government announced the appointment of Ornge (formerly the Ontario Air Ambulance Services Co.) to co-ordinate all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system. This transfer was completed in January 2006. Ornge, a non-profit body accountable to the Ontario government through a performance agreement, is now responsible for all air ambulance operations including the contracting of flight service providers, medical oversight of all air paramedics, air dispatch and authorizing air and land ambulance transfers. For more information, visit

For more information

Emergency Health Services Branch
5700 Yonge Street, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
Canada     M2M 4K5

Tel : 1-800-461-6431 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
Fax : 416-327-7911
Email :

Call the ministry INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
(Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
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