Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you call 911?
When you call 911, your call is answered at one of six regional Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP). Calling from a landline is much more effective than from a cell phone because it provides a number and address of the phone you are using, saving precious time. If you require an ambulance, your call will be transferred to our Medical Communications Management Centre in Moncton (MCMC), which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is very important that you only call 911 in an emergency. 

When you call 911, it is important that you have the following information ready:

  • The address, community name and phone number where the ambulance is required
  • What happened
  • How many patients there are
  • List of medications (if applicable) 

An Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) will ask you several questions to help triage the call and ensure the ambulance is responding to the correct location of the person requiring the ambulance. The information you provide will assist in sending the appropriate resources quickly and efficiently.

What do you do when an ambulance is behind you?
Seeing an ambulance with lights and sirens can be alarming and at times, we are not always sure how to react. Lights and sirens automatically indicate the ambulance has the right of way. When it is safe to do so, turn on your signal light and pull over. 

An ambulance is parked on the roadside, why is it sitting there?
You'll often see our paramedic crews parked in varying areas around your community when they're not actively on a call, instead of at the station. There's a good reason for this. In order to ensure every community in the province receives the best-possible coverage at all times, Ambulance New Brunswick operates on a dynamic deployment system. What that means is that when an ambulance is dispatched to a call, nearby ambulances move in to cover that area, ensuring that no area is left without an ambulance close at hand. Our medical dispatchers rely on sophisticated technology that takes into consideration historical call volume for an area, based on time of day and day of the week. Using this information, they redirect ambulances in the area to different locations on an hour-by-hour basis. 

Who should take a CPR course?
CPR certification (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a skill that everyone should have. It’s a fact of life that emergencies are going to happen. If you are not prepared, it can be a moment of sheer panic when they happen to you or around you. CPR first aid training class is often required for people working in certain sectors but those without first aid and CPR training through work should also be prepared.

CPR courses are available through authorized organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Saint John Ambulance. Although you might have been certified in the past, keep yourself current with a refresher course every two years to meet the most updated CPR guidelines.

What are the responsibilities of a Paramedic?
A paramedic is a trained health care professional who performs patient assessments and provides medical care on scene, as well as en route to destination hospitals in the Province. Paramedics are skilled in performing various life-saving medical interventions and administering medication to patients for the relief of specific symptoms and conditions. Paramedics also transport patients between medical facilities and provide medical care during those transfers.

Paramedics have a large amount of medical training that can be put to the test at any time due to the variety of calls they respond to. They can be called upon to manage cardiac arrests, perform defibrillation, secure airways, assist with childbirth, immobilize fractures, and provide treatment for chest pain, difficulty breathing, or numerous other injuries or illness. They are often the primary point of contact within the healthcare system for patients in need. Furthermore, paramedics can control and manage critical situations, mass casualty incidents and trauma victims.

Paramedics also provide needed medical support to patients during inter-facility transports when patients are transferred between hospitals or other medical facilities.

What are the responsibilities of an Emergency Medical Dispatcher?
An Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) is a communications specialist, whose role is to gather information from 911 callers with medical emergencies, dispatch ambulances to 911 calls and coordinate patient transfers between hospitals. Our EMDs instruct callers on how to perform CPR or other life-saving interventions, if required, until the paramedics arrive. 

With the assistance of high-tech triaging and dispatching software, they ask callers a series of questions to determine the nature of their medical emergency, triage those 911 calls and patient transfer requests (we respond to nearly 100,000 calls each year), and assign the closest available paramedic crew - all within seconds. Working in pairs, our EMDs continue to gather information on the details of the scene or medical emergency and relay that information to paramedics, to assist them in formulating the response plan, before they ever arrive at the scene. All of our EMDs are fluently bilingual.

What are the responsibilities of a Flight Nurse?
A flight nurse is a highly-trained registered nurse experienced in the provisions of advanced life support and critical care. Dealing with a variety of emergencies and diverse conditions, ANB's critical care flight nurses possess the combined skills of an intensive care nurse, ER nurse and critical care nurse.

Transporting some of the province's most critically-ill or injured patients, flight nurses are often required to perform advanced medical interventions in one of the most challenging conditions imaginable - a fixed-wing airplane travelling at high speeds and altitudes - and without the additional support staff and resources available at a medical facility. In addition to completing ongoing clinical continuing medical education, flight nurses are also trained in aircraft safety, flight physiology and water and land survival. 

I’m interested in a career in Emergency Medical Services. What do I need to do?
Colleges such as Medavie HealthEd, Oulton College and Holland College offer Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited Paramedicine training programs in the Maritimes. 



Medavie EMS Group of Companies