We Advocate for You

Ornge's Patient Advocate is available to respond to patient feedback, facilitate the resolutions of complaints or requests, and to advocate for system improvements. 

Do you have any questions or concerns about a transport that has already taken place? Please feel free to reach out to your Patient Advocate, Karla Gagnon:

  • Email: kgagnon@ornge.ca
  • Phone: 705-268-5011 (Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Feel free to visit the Patient Advocate page to learn more.

If you are a family member and have a time sensitive question or concern about the transport of your loved one who is currently in transit by Ornge or our Standard Agreement Carriers, and is outside the hours of the Patient Advocate, please contact the Operations Control Centre by calling 647-428-2005 ext. 4217.

Please note calls received into this line will be recorded.

Prepare for Transport

Preparing for a transport can seem daunting, especially during a time of stress. Please see a list of frequently asked questions below.

What type of vehicle will I be transported in?

You may be transported in a helicopter, airplane or land ambulance. The Ornge Operations Control Centre will determine the appropriate vehicle and crew for your transport based on a number of factors including: condition of the patient, resource availability, availability of other medical responders, weather conditions, and patient location.

In addition to our own fleet, Ornge has a number of contracted carriers that complete patient transfers across the province.  Many of these are scheduled transfers for procedures, or appointments, but they also facilitate urgent and emergent transfers when appropriate.  Ornge works closely with these providers to ensure a quality patient care experience.

Learn more about Ornge's fleet and Operations Control Centre.

Where can my friends or employer find information about the status of my transport?

Friends or employers are encouraged to contact the patient's family directly to receive updates on patient condition or patient transport. Due to patient privacy, we are unable to share patient details without patient consent.

What should I wear during transport?

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather and remember to bring clothes for your return trip home.  There are blankets onboard our aircraft and vehicles, however, patients travelling throughout the winter months are strongly encouraged to bring a winter jacket.

What am I allowed to bring?

While being transported by Ornge, it’s a good idea to ensure personal items are labelled with your name and contact information. During your transport, only one small piece of personal carry-on luggage is permitted. The decision to accommodate personal items rests solely with the Captain. 

Under most circumstances, large items such as wheelchairs, walkers, portable oxygen generators, etc. cannot be secured onboard our aircraft. Therefore, alternate arrangements should be made by your healthcare provider prior to transport.

As food is not provided throughout the transport process, you may want to bring a snack.

Are there washrooms?

No, there are no washrooms onboard our aircraft or land vehicles. Ornge paramedics will make every effort to ensure that your transport is comfortable.

Do I need to bring money or identification?

We advise that you bring money/credit cards for unexpected expenses.  Make sure to bring appropriate government issued identification that would be accepted by major airlines if needed. 

Can a family member travel with me?

Every effort is made to accommodate one family member. There are a number of considerations, such as fuel and weight limitations. In some instances, it may not be possible for a family member to join the patient during transport; however, if we are able to, the information below will help prepare your family member for the journey.

How do I prepare to accompany my family member for a transport?

If a family member has been approved to accompany a patient on a transport, the following information may be helpful in their journey.

What do I need to bring on the transport?

To ensure the transport process is smooth and efficient, please ensure to bring the following items:

  • Credit card
  • Hospital identification
  • Health card
  • Hospital identification
  • Appropriate additional clothing
  • Passport ( in case of out-of-country transport)

How do I prepare for a transports in different seasons?

Ornge transports patients into all parts of Ontario. The climate and weather conditions at origin may be very different from what you find at the destination. Sometimes Ornge flights are diverted to a community where the weather is not as you may have expected.

Everyday clothes may be adequate on board the aircraft, but you need to be dressed appropriately for unanticipated or emergency landings. As a general rule, you should wear clothes appropriate for spending a significant amount of the day or night outdoors.

Throughout the year please ensure to dress comfortably and wear closed-toe, nonslip footwear. During the spring, please wear or carry a jacket for cool evenings. In the winter, please ensure to:

  • Wear a winter jacket and closed toe footwear appropriate for the season.
  • Winter boots are strongly encouraged.
  • Gloves/Mitts and toque
  • Winter clothing should be worn in layers so they can be added or removed as temperature changes.

Please note: The Ornge Pilot in Command (PIC) has responsibility for the safety of those on board any may prevent someone from boarding the aircraft if the PIC feels his or her clothing is not appropriate for weather conditions.

Help us ensure your safety!  Dress appropriately for the season when flying with Ornge.

How do I return home?

It’s important to keep in mind that Ornge is not responsible for returning you to your home community. Please discuss the expected plan with your sending care team and ask about paperwork for travel grants:

  • You may be discharged from the hospital you’ve been transferred to and will be expected to arrange your own transportation home.
  • You will need to bring clothes, two photo ID’s and have access to a credit card in case you need to purchase an airline or bus ticket for the return trip.
  • In some situations, patients are transported back to their community hospital (if they require ongoing hospital care), but this will be decided by the physician from the discharging hospital.

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