Spiritwood Ambulance Care Ltd. commenced operations in 1974.  Since that time it has grown into a first class EMS provider in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Spiritwood Ambulance Care was founded by Michael Dutchak and one of his three sons, Wayne Dutchak in 1974.  George and Delores Beaulac managed the service for 20 years, from 1974 until 1994 when Garry and Gail St. Onge relocated to undertake the ownership and management of the service.  Spiritwood Ambulance Care continued to grow in all aspects.  From the addition of a satellite base in the community of Big River in 1995, to the implementation of the First Responder Program in surrounding communities in 1996, all the way to providing Advanced Life Support to residents by employing Paramedics and Advanced EMT’s in 2000.  In 2014, Luke St. Onge, Garry and Gail’s son also relocated to his home town to take over ownership from his parents.

Spiritwood Ambulance Care is a proud member of the North Central Ambulance Association (NCAA).  The NCAA is a group of independently owned ambulance services that provide operational and administrative support to each other.

We have always maintained our motto of “Our Commitment to Excellence”.  From the residents of the area we provide care to, all the way to our employees that work for the company.

We are a service provider, in a service industry that strives to offer care that is second-to-none.  From the best trained practitioners, to the state-of-the-art equipment used…  WE STRIVE TO BE THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS!!!

Our Mission Statement

Spiritwood-Big River Ambulance…

…provides a high level of pre-hospital Emergency Medical Service and transport in the most cost effective manner. We do this by training, educating, and caring for our staff members and for the public, while maintaining high performance standards and professional conduct.

Our Vision Statement

Spiritwood-Big River Ambulance…

…strives to be the outstanding Emergency Medical Service leaders in providing quality pre-hospital care.  In partnership with our board and community we educate and offer preventative services to reduce injury and to promote wellness.

Our Staff

Spiritwood-Big River Ambulance…

…will continuously be advocates for patients who find themselves sick or injured and require the treatment and transport within the healthcare system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many times we are asked…how busy is our service? How many calls do we do each year? What type of calls do we do? How can one apply for employment with our company? How does one become a First Responder, EMR, PCP or ACP, and what are the differences in the levels of training?

These are just a few of the more frequently asked questions.  Here, we have tried to provide the answers to many of the questions regularly asked of us.  If there is a question not included here that you would like the answer to, please feel free to contact us.

How big of a service area do we provide coverage for?

Spiritwood Ambulance Care provides service to a large rural area and population.  These include 6 First Nations communities, and 40 other communities and congregated areas.  Our service area spans a coverage area over 6 Rural Municipalities.  From north of the town of Big River all the way to Sled Lake, down south of the town of Spiritwood to Whitkow, to the east of Spiritwood as far as Glaslyn, and west to the town of Canwood.  For a map of our service area click here.

What level of service do we provide to the service area?

Spiritwood Ambulance Care provides service from the level of First Responders, Emergency Medical Responders, as well as Primary Care Paramedics (PCP’s), all the way to Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP’s).

Currently, there are 3 practicing Advanced Care Paramedics, 9 Primary Care Paramedics, and 1 Emergency Medical Responder employed full-time at the Spiritwood base.  There is also 4 Primary Care Paramedics employed full-time at the Big River base. We also oversee 7 First Responders in the communities that are located within our service area.

Because of the location of the bases and the distribution of staff between them, different levels of response can be achieved and appropriate care to the situation can be delivered.

How many calls a year does Spiritwood Ambulance Care do?

In 2022, between Spiritwood and Big River bases, a total of approximately 3800 responses were attended to!

What is the difference between Big River base and Spiritwood base?

Spiritwood Ambulance Care is unique, in that in 1995, a satellite base was built in the town of Big River to assist in the growing need for further coverage in the area.  A satellite base enhanced the current service by decreasing response times and getting aid to those who need it quicker. This base and staff was essential in complimenting the existing health coverage by the local health facility and medical staff.  The base in Big River is staffed with four full time employees.  With two bases covering such a vast area, Spiritwood Ambulance can maximize on efficient deployment based on circumstance and type of calls.

What are the different levels of training?

There are several levels of training an individual can obtain in order to work in the EMS industry.  There are basic levels like First Responders and EMR’s, (Emergency Medical Responders) which require a lesser amount of volunteering and commitment.  Other levels include more advanced training and significantly more commitment and time.  There are currently 3 levels of training that can allow you to be employed in the industry.  The first level of training is EMR (Emergency Medical Responder), The second level is PCP (Primary Care Paramedic).  The last level of training is ACP (Advanced Care Paramedic).  This level requires prior training of PCP.  This level of training is much more extensive and thorough in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and much more.