Mayors in Alberta continue to advocate for local EMS dispatch including Red Deer Mayor, Ken Johnston. It’s now been two years since the service has transitioned to a provincial dispatch but the Mayors of Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo would still prefer to see a return to local dispatch. 

“We remain in respectful disagreement with Alberta Health Services regarding the effectiveness of this consolidated system and are requesting a return of EMS Dispatch to our centers in order to support the provincial system with a stable and integrated service. It is clear by many of the recommendations in the report that our conclusions support the fact that the provincial dispatch centers are either overwhelmed or lacking in capacity and searching for solutions to maintain service,” said Red Deer Mayor, Ken Johnston.

The municipalities claim there are still issues with verifying the address of emergencies, a delay in medical first response dispatch, critical safety alerts are not being issued for EMS crews, and there are deviations in medical priorities. 

The four municipalities also make up 43 per cent of the province in number of residents served. The satellite EMS dispatch centres in those municipalities are already cross-trained in both fire and medical dispatch. 

The mayors continue to invite those who have experienced delays or a degradation in service to share their stories with Alberta Health Services, and the Government of Alberta.