Ornge still planning Oshawa Airport base expansion
Jan. 18, 2012, Oshawa, Ont. - In July ORNGE organization announced it would be opening a satellite base at the Oshawa Municipal Airport. Ornge is Ontario's air ambulance service and its distinctive orange helicopters can be seen in the Durham skies ferrying patients to and from local hospitals or from accident scene
Since the announcement, Ornge has been embroiled in a scandal after it was revealed the organization's CEO was earning $1.4 million a year, more than any other public servant in the province. On Jan. 11 it was announced deputy minister of government services Ron McKerlie will be new the CEO and the organization's board has resigned.
But Ornge spokesperson Gannon Loftus said the changes will not affect plans for the new satellite base in Oshawa.
"Right now everything for Oshawa is still moving forward as planned," he said.
He added that Ornge is currently preparing a request for proposals in order to hire an architect to design the new base. An existing hangar will be renovated to accommodate Ornge and the space is being measured and drawings of the existing space are being reviewed in order to prepare for the design of the new area.
Mr. Loftus said until the design work is done it's hard to say when it will be complete.
The base will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and bring with it 11 pilots, 11 paramedics and mechanics. With the Oshawa location, Ornge will shave 12 minutes off response times for flights leaving for southern Ontario out of Toronto.
"We're still excited we're going to be calling Oshawa home for one of our new bases and we're certainly looking forward to working with both the municipality and local emergency services," said Mr. Loftus. "We're committed to the patients of Ontario and we're certainly committed to bringing the highest possible level of care to those people."