D. Parkes and B. Doyle | Sep 15, 2011
On September 6, an open meeting was held at the Griffith Community Hall. Community response was very good, with 62 people in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to assess whether there was community support in creating a citizen-based and led organization to lobby appropriate levels of government to ensure that the present level of ambulance service provided to Griffith, Matawatchan and area continues.
The impetus for this movement came from a meeting that was held last week in Griffith by the Denbigh Ambulance Network. From that meeting there was a strong sense that this area needed to show its concern for the proposed changes being considered by the County of Lennox and Addington who are once again, seriously discussing the closure of the Denbigh Ambulance Base and moving it to the Northbrook/ Cloyne area.
The Denbigh Ambulance Base provides emergency service to rural areas of the bordering Counties of Renfrew, Hastings, Frontenac as well as Lennox and Addington. The closure of the Denbigh base would greatly increase the response travel time to the Griffith and Matawatchan Area to possibly more than an hour. This is unacceptable given the essential nature of access to medical treatment in a timely and professional manner - lives are at stake!
Lennox and Addington retained the services of IBI Group to carry out an “Ambulance Service Review Update”. This, in our opinion, was a very biased report, which concluded that the Denbigh Ambulance closure would definitely help the bottom line of Lennox and Addinton’s budget, while shifting the level of service to favour a more highly populated area of the county.
The Griffith, Matawatchan and Area Ambulance Network will be working closely with the Denbigh Community Ambulance Network and the Township of Greater Madawaska in presenting a more accurate assessment of the need and usage of the Denbigh Ambulance Base to the various levels of Government and insuring they are aware of the potentially dangerous impact of this possible decision to the residents of our area.
The Griffith, Matawatchan and Area Ambulance Network will represent the concern and interests of our area and will be led by a group of six local residents. Heading the Griffith, Matawatchan and Area Ambulance Network is David Parkes; members are Richard Copeland, Bill Shipley, Sandy Downs, Inez J. Allard, Kit Pullen.