Since July 2020, The City of Red Deer along with the cities of Lethbridge, Calgary and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have been strongly advocating against the decision by Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta to consolidate regional ambulance dispatch services. Despite these efforts, on January 12, 2021, ambulance dispatch was officially consolidated across Alberta.
Since the consolidation, regions across Alberta have experienced significant issues, in varying degrees with the service, which has significantly increased the risk to patients’ care across our province. Today, City Council voted unanimously to officially file a complaint against the decision and the system with the Alberta Ombudsman.
“Our communities have tried every avenue to communicate with our government that this system is flawed and to strongly dispute the effectiveness of it, but our calls for a third party review remain unanswered,” said Mayor Veer, City of Red Deer. “With a municipal election looming, we want to reassure all Albertans, and Alberta Health Services, that we will not be giving up the fight for what we know is in the best interest of patient safety. We hope that filing this official complaint with the Alberta Ombudsman reiterates that we will exhaust every avenue possible to revisit the government’s decision.”
Removing local, integrated EMS dispatch has impacted the health and safety of Albertans and impact patient outcomes in all four regions. The City encourages all Albertans who may have experienced delays or a degradation in service since the consolidation to share their stories with the Government of Alberta, and continue to call on the Premier and Minister of Health to step in and return emergency dispatch services to local jurisdictions, in the interest of all Albertans.
“We ask citizens and all municipalities in Alberta to join us in our fight to restore regional ambulance dispatch by writing into your local MLA, the Minister of Health and the Premier with your concerns on how this consolidation has affected dispatch and ambulance response times,” said Mayor Veer.
For more information, and to access a form letter, please visit www.reddeer.ca/secondscount.
For more information, please contact:
The City of Red Deer