A group of Ornge paramedics bring a patient on a gurney into a helicopter at night

Patient Transport FAQ

FAQ Question?

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Transport FAQ Intro Text

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How do the pilots decide if it’s safe to fly?

The pilot in command has the final say in all decisions regarding safety of the passengers and crew.  The captain will assess all factors including, but not limited to:

  • Weather conditions at the point of origin, the destination and en route
  • Airport or helipad conditions and restrictions
Using this information, the pilot will determine whether or not to accept a mission.

How do I access my Personal Health Information?

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) grants patients the right to access their own health records. PHIPA also requires institutions to protect patient health records and keep them confidential.
If a patient or designate wishes to request personal health information specific to their Ornge transport, they may complete a Personal Health Information Request form on the Health Record's page.

What type of vehicle will I be transported in?

You may be transported using a helicopter, airplane or land ambulance. The Ornge Operations Control Centre will determine the appropriate vehicle and crew for your transport.

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 am I allowed to bring?

While being transported by Ornge, 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.

Why is my transport delayed?

Transport plans may change for a variety of reasons such as weather, aircraft availability and ground transport delays.

In addition, similar to an Emergency Department, Ornge must prioritize transports according to urgency.  The Operations Control Centre considers the medical condition of each patient as well as other transport-related needs.  As part of this process, a Transport Medicine Physician assesses each patient’s the urgency and level of care, and patients are triaged on this basis. 
 
The Operations Control Centre will apprise your care provider of any changes/delays and provide expected timelines.

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.
 

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.

Where can my family find information about my transport?

Ornge coordinates patient transportation with both the sending hospital and receiving hospital. Your family can seek information about your transport from your healthcare provider.