After years of waiting, paramedics in Waterloo Region now have a new headquarters.
Hosting the grand opening ceremony on February 28, local dignitaries turned out to cut the celebratory ribbon on the ‘north headquarters’ and take a tour of the 48,500-square-foot facility located at 1001 Erbs Rd.
Rob Crossan, deputy chief of the Region of Waterloo Paramedic Services, said he is ecstatic now that the new headquarters is open, as it’s more functional for the employees who work there.
“It’s fantastic, it’s really a nice building,” said Crossan. “We really tried to design it with employee wellness in mind.”
Crossan says features like a patio, ‘active crew’ room and an abundance of natural light, are all things meant to help paramedics and staff get the most out of their time while on duty.
The new headquarters has been in the works for three years, with construction taking 18 months.
Highlights of the new building include an in-building truck wash, in-floor radiant heat and decontamination bays.
The new facility boasts many upgrades over the south headquarters located on Maple Grove Road, including space for 21 ambulances compared to 10.
A simulation lab where multiple scenarios can be practiced to ensure the best results in the field is one of the things Crossan enjoys having at the new facility.
He said paramedics can train on anything from accident extrication to loading a patient onto an ambulance and practice like they’re on a call.
The opening of the facility is also coming at a good time, as Crossan says they outgrew the old headquarters and need the space to continue to keep up with the number of calls, which has doubled in the last decade, meaning more vehicles were needed to keep up with the demand.
Paramedics responded to 57,862 calls in 2019, employing 278 staff in the region.