Last weekend was “Doors Open” in Ottawa, a yearly event during which a number of places open their doors to the public. Not only admission is free, but you get the chance to peek into a number of interesting places which are not usually open to the general public. Being my usual curious self, I decided to go visit the Ottawa Paramedic Headquarter in Walkley.
As much as I like architecture and old buildings, which is what a lot of people come to see during this event, I was more interested in getting an insider peek into the day of the paramedics. Like most people, I occasionally see them racing on the freeway, or I hear the sound of the ambulance siren in the distance and know something is going on — that’s about it.
The paramedic headquarter was built in 2005. This is where all the staff reports before being dispatched. A huge indoors garage is home to what seemed dozens of vehicles, from bicycles (to access crowded places easily) to huge trailers which carry tons of supplies in case of a major emergency.
Several rooms stock the supplies: stretchers and little bags, full of drugs and medical supplies. They are all checked daily and repackaged as needed, and then sealed. The building also has a cleaning station for vehicles, which are all disinfected and checked for damages before being parked again.
Upstairs in the buildings are the staff gym and physiotherapy center (apparently, this job is hard on the body!) and the emergency control room.
Everything looked so organized and “under control” — I actually found that very comforting. And the paramedics seemed to be a dedicated team!
You can see the full Doors Open 2010 set here.