City anticipates new ambulance dispatch proposal

  • Feb. 5, 2014 6:16 p.m.

Red Deer may retain ambulance dispatch after the province indicated that they plan to put a new proposal in front of the mayors in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Peace River and Fort McMurray.

“The province’s decision to reconsider some aspects of their plan for centralized dispatch is a positive step forward, and we believe the anticipated proposal will demonstrate their respect for our concerns and those of our local and regional citizens,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

“The move towards centralization would have resulted in the dissolution of ambulance dispatch in Red Deer, which we believe is central to maintaining integrated fire and ambulance emergency response. While we don’t have all the details just yet, this is a step in the right direction.”

The decision to centralize ambulance dispatch came on the heels of a recommendation from the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) in early March 2013 and would have seen Red Deer served by the Calgary dispatch service.

“We are well positioned in Red Deer to continue delivering ambulance dispatch service to our 320,000 regional citizens,” said Veer. “The City of Red Deer has worked hard over the past five years to focus on regional dispatch operations for Red Deer and surrounding communities, and it’s all been done with efficiency and exceptional service in mind.”

More information is expected by the end of next month when Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne meets with Veer to review the proposal.

The provincial decision to centralize ambulance dispatch stemmed from the recommendations in a HQCA report that outlines recommendations related to the 9-1-1 System, EMS Delivery System, Information and Managing the Quality and Safety of the EMS System, and Quality and Safety Management.

– Fawcett