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Road Ambulance Services

Eastern Health provides hospital based ambulance services to the St. John’s Metropolitan Area and to Carbonear.
In addition, Eastern Health’s Paramedicine and Medical Transport Division’s Regional Services is responsible for overseeing 22 private and community based or owned road ambulance services operating within the Eastern Health region.

When to Call an Ambulance
If you are unsure if you or a loved one require ambulance assistance, try asking the following questions:
  • Is the person’s condition life-threatening?
  • Could the person’s condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital?
  • Could moving the person cause further injury? 
  • Does the person need immediate medical attention?
  • Would distance or traffic conditions cause a harmful delay in getting the person to the hospital?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," or if you are unsure, call an ambulance. Paramedics and emergency medical responders are trained to begin medical treatment on the way to the hospital. This prevents any delay that could occur if the patient is driven to the emergency department.

When your call is answered, speak calmly and clearly. Give your name, the address, phone number, location of patient (such as upstairs in the bedroom) and nature of the problem. Don't hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. They may need additional information or need to give you instructions.

In cases such as heart attack and strokes, every minute counts.  If you suspect a heart attack or stroke, call for an ambulance immediately.

Heart attack warning signs:
  • Chest discomfort, pressure, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest
  • Other upper body discomfort, including pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, lightheadedness, cold sweats, nausea

Stroke warning signs:

  • Sudden weakness/paralysis on one side of the body or face
  • Sudden trouble walking, speaking or standing
  • Sudden onset of severe headache
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision in one eye
For more information on heart disease or stroke, please visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Heart and Stroke Foundation website at

Other conditions that may require emergency care include:
  • Breathing problems
  • Weakness or dizziness that does not get better
  • Sudden confusion
  • Frequent vomiting and diarrhea and/or severe belly pain
  • Injury to your head (especially if you lost consciousness, fainted, or became confused)
  • Injury to your neck or spine (especially with loss of feeling or motion in a part of your body) Do not move a person with this problem unless it is a life and death situation, eg, fire, drowning.
  • Large cut or wound (with or without severe bleeding)
  • Injury to a joint or limb with loss of use, swelling, and severe pain
  • Serious burns or breathing  of smoke or other poisonous fumes
  • Severe allergic reactions from insect bites, food or medications
  • High fever that cannot be controlled or any fever if you are receiving cancer medications
  • Sudden high fever with neck stiffness and headache
  • Poisoning or drug/alcohol overdose
  • Suicidal thoughts


Updated Feb 10, 2012