Response Time Standards for Niagara Emergency Medical Services

Targets for emergency medical response times are legislated by the province and set annually by local municipalities.

Our targets are based on previous response times and are approved by Regional Council.

Response times are defined by the Canadian Triage Acuity Score (CTAS), a commonly-used system that prioritizes patient care based on severity, signs and symptoms. The Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale has five levels:

  • Level 1: Resuscitation - Conditions that are threats to life or limb
  • Level 2: Emergent - Conditions that are a potential threat to life, limb or function
  • Level 3: Urgent - Serious conditions that require emergency intervention
  • Level 4: Less urgent - Conditions that relate to patient distress or potential complications that would benefit from intervention
  • Level 5: Non-urgent - Conditions that are non-urgent or that may be part of a chronic problem

Niagara EMS is mandated to submit a Response Time Performance Plan to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care annually. The response plan is published and publically reported.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA): The time from our dispatch receiving the call to the arrival of any trained/qualified person to provide defibrillation. This is defined as an unexpected/immediate loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness (this may include heart attacks)

CTAS 1 through 5: The time when our dispatch receives the call to the arrival of a Niagara EMS paramedic.

Response Time Standard Results


Type Plan Perfomance
CTAS 1 2 minutes 90.00% 83.07%
CTAS 2 2 minutes 75.00% 72.51%
SCA 2 minutes 90.00% 89.50%


Type Plan Perfomance
CTAS 1 8 minutes 80.00% 76.17%
CTAS 2 11 minutes 90.00% 81.76%
CTAS 3 15 minutes 90.00% 82.79%
CTAS 4 20 minutes 90.00% 89.43%
CTAS 5 30 minutes 90.00% 98.80%
SCA 6 minutes 55.00% 59.04%
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