Ambulance transportation

The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) des Laurentides oversees the organization of ambulance services in the region by coordinating the chain of pre-hospital services. 

The CISSS also makes sure to maintain and assess the skills of intervention staff, and monitors and evaluates the quality of the actions emergency pre-hospital care staff take with users.

Cost of ambulance transportation

The cost of ambulance transportation to the hospital is usually assumed by the person being transported, even if the call to 911 was made by someone else.

Basic cost125 $
Distance 1,75 $ per kilometer
Additional patient35 $
Non-resident of Canada 400 $ + distance fee

These rates, which came into effect on July 30, 2010, may be indexed annually. No additional fees are charged for the person accompanying the patient.

The Québec government finances most of the emergency pre-hospital system. The costs that are billed to the user only cover a small fraction of the actual cost of ambulance transport.


The Québec government covers the entire cost of ambulance transport for the following people:

  • People injured in a road accident,
  • People injured in a work accident,
  • People transported between two facilities within the health and social services network,
  • People 65 years of age and over,
  • People receiving income security.

The federal government covers the cost of ambulance transport in certain cases, in particular for:

  • Members of the Canadian Armed forces,
  • Veterans,
  • On-reseve First Nations and Inuit populations.

Important: Even if a person is eligible for a government exception, he or she may be billed for the ambulance transport if it is deemed to be medically unnecessary.

Consult the pamphlet: Démarre le chargement du fichierLe transport ambulancier : pas toujours gratuit (Ambulance transportation, not always free) (in French only)

Consult the /typo3conf/l10n/fr/rtehtmlarea/Resources/Private/Language/fr.locallang_accessibilityicons.xlf:external_link_new_window_altTextPre-hospital emergency services section of the Government website.


When someone calls 911 during an emergency, their call triggers a response process involving several actors. All of the actions and interventions carried out to help a person in distress are referred to as pre-hospital chain or care.

The various components of the chain of pre-hospital services are as follows:

  • The first lay responders are the witnesses to the incident and provide assistance to the victim, either by calling 911 or by administering first aid while waiting for emergency services to arrive. 
  • The 911 centre receives the emergency call and directs it to the appropriate emergency service (police, firefighters, paramedics). The 911 call centres are a municipal responsibility.
  • The health communication centre receives and prioritizes emergency calls requiring ambulance intervention. Ambulances are dispatched based on the emergency level of the call and ambulance availability. By asking specific questions, the dispatcher first determines the priority of the call and, based on ambulance availability, dispatches the appropriate resources as quickly as possible. 
  • Once dispatched to the scene by the health communication centre, first responders complement the actions of the ambulance paramedics. Under the guidance of the regional medical director, they apply protocols that aim to prevent the deterioration of the condition of the person in distress and transfer responsibility of the interventions to the paramedics once they arrive on the scene.
  • Ambulance services take charge using medically based clinical intervention protocols, under guidance from the regional medical director. They take charge of the patient’s care. Once the patient has been assessed and stabilized, he or she is transported to the nearest or most appropriate hospital.