Why are there so many medical emergency delays on the TTC?

After being stuck in a “medical emergency” delay on the TTC Yonge subway line last Monday, I asked TTC spokesman Brad Ross how the TTC defined a medical emergency. I actually wanted to talk someone the old fashioned way as I thought that would be the most effective method to get the information I needed, however, that didn’t happen, so you’ll have to settle for what I gleaned over Twitter and I’ll let @BradTTCcorrect me if something got lost in Tweet translation.

Basically, it seems that in the period between when an alarm is activated and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrives on the scene, it is up to individual TTC employees — who may or may not be trained in First Aid — to decide whether to get the ill passenger off the train and have the trains resume.

Based on what I and other TTC users have seen, TTC employees consistently seem to prefer to leave passengers on trains rather than help them onto the platform and have the trains proceed. Why they do this is unclear. And whether the TTC reviews and monitors these decisions and suggests best practices is also unclear.

I’m still waiting for the TTC to get back to me with total delay minutes due to medical emergencies and then I will try to compare TTC delay minutes due to medical emergencies to those of other major subways.

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