Ambulance supervisors must now go to the scene when paramedics decide to delay their response to an emergency call, says Bruce Farr, the chief of Toronto’s Emergency Medical Service.

In addition, paramedics are to be been given a checklist of questions that must be answered when they think it’s necessary to delay responding.

The practices result in part from the death of Jim Hearst on June 25, when two paramedics who had been directed to respond parked their vehicle nearby but did not go to the scene.

Paramedics can delay their response if they think their health and safety is threatened.

Hearst had been found bleeding on the floor near the entrance to his apartment building at 40 Alexander St. It took more than 30 minutes from the time of the first 911 emergency call until the first medical help arrived.

The ambulance service was on reduced staff because of the municipal workers’ strike at the time of Hearst’s death, but ambulance officials have said emergency response times should not have been affected.

Following Hearst’s death, a unit of the Ontario health ministry made a number of recommendations about how to handle delays.

Yesterday, a working group of city and provincial officials and union officials made more recommendations.

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