Emergency officials are gearing up for the possibility of an influx of patients this Canada Day long weekend by creating a mobile hospital unit downtown.

The field medical unit is made out of several tents that are located outside of City Hall, along Lisgar Street. This mobile facility will have more than 20 beds, plus chairs, and include room for short-term stays, emergency calls, and an intensive care unit.

“Our doctors, nurses, and physicians can assess and hopefully discharge patients back into the community so that they don’t have to go the emergency department,” said Patrick Auger, the Incident Commander for Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT).

Last year Ottawa Paramedics responded to 441 calls on Canada Day and transported 193 people to hospital. On July 1, 2011, during one of the busiest Canada Day’s on record as the royals visited Ottawa, paramedics responded to 825 calls and 236 people transported to hospital.

This year medical officials are preparing for similar numbers.

“Our mission really is to provide that surge capacity for the hospital system,” said Steve Urszenyi, program manager for EMAT.

Inside the pop-up hospital there will be no operations. Otherwise, the medical team will have all necessary equipment to treat a patient.

With road closures in the downtown core crews will avoid taking an ambulance depending on the situation and patient’s needs.

“There is going to be a lot of gridlock so we’ll have sock of our patients brought to us on gators or golf carts from the Ottawa Paramedics service,” Auger said.

EMAT is funded by the Ontario Government and operated through the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine located outside of Toronto.