FREDERICTON (GNB) – Ambulance New Brunswick and Atlantic Charters have reached an agreement to provide Grand Manan-based air ambulance service to the island.

"I am pleased that Ambulance New Brunswick and Atlantic Charters have signed a three-year contract that will ensure appropriate air ambulance services are available to the residents of Grand Manan," said Health Minister Madeleine Dubé. "I would like to recognize the efforts of both parties in negotiating this contract in a timely manner, and I extend my appreciation to the mayor, councillors and the greater community of Grand Manan for their collaboration throughout this process."

Under the contract, all flights must be approved by Ambulance New Brunswick's medical communications management centre, and a pilot and co-pilot must be used on each flight.

Atlantic Charters will transfer patients to the Saint John Regional Hospital, where the level of care required can be provided by a paramedic alone or with a registered nurse from the Grand Manan Hospital.

Atlantic Charters may also be used to transport nursing home patients to and from the Saint John Regional Hospital for medical referrals and appointments when ferry transportation is not suitable or available.

"Ambulance New Brunswick and Atlantic Charters have reached an agreement that we believe to be fair and one that will best meet the needs of Grand Manan residents," said Alan Stephen, president and chief executive officer of Ambulance New Brunswick. "Ambulance New Brunswick's priorities continue to be patient safety and ensuring that every patient receives the most appropriate level of medical care during transport based on his or her condition and acuity."

The contract expires July 31, 2015.