City moves forward with ambulance dispatch

  • Apr. 16, 2014 3:27 p.m.

City council agreed to endorse a letter of intent that establishes the vision principles for the negotiation of the satellite collaborative ambulance dispatch agreement at this week’s meeting.

In February, the City along with Alberta Health Services announced a collaborative solution to retain dispatch in Red Deer while maintaining integrated fire and ambulance emergency response.

The province’s decision to reconsider some aspects of their plan for centralized dispatch came on the heels of many communities advocating for a new proposal.

The initial decision to centralize ambulance dispatch stemmed from a recommendation by the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) in early March 2013 and would have seen Red Deer served by the Calgary dispatch service. The announcement in February confirms there will no longer be a transfer for dispatch to Calgary and that Red Deer will provide backup dispatch services for the province.

Since that agreement in principle was reached, City administration has been working with officials from AHS to capture the intent of this principle in writing.

The vision principles include ‘one province, one system’ which states that the ground ambulance dispatching service delivery model is seamless, borderless and patient-focused serving all Albertans. The principles also include ‘partnership, collaboration, understanding, accountability and stakeholder engagement.’

Elaine Vincent, the City’s director of development services told council that Red Deer’s 9-1-1 emergency communications provides dispatch services to more than nine EMS agencies and 68 fire departments.

“We service over 320,000 citizens within Central Alberta. We currently dispatch over 20,000 EMS incidents per year and we have the tools, technologies and the staff to carry out this work efficiently and effectively.”

The City of Red Deer service area extends from Nordegg to the west, Acadia Valley to the east, Ponoka County in the north and to Brooks in the south.

“Anytime 9-1-1 is dialed in this area for police, fire or ambulance, it is answered out of our state of the art communications centre,” said Vincent.

Councillor Lynne Mulder said this agreement with the province in terms of ambulance dispatch is a highlight for her since first being elected to City council.

“I really liked what happened, I like that the province heard us – although we were a little frustrated initially, we didn’t give up,” she said. “I think we proved that we can, when we are tenacious enough, move forward. The wonderful thing for me is that we didn’t do this so that we could win against the province, we did it so that we could win for our community. This is a win for our community and our citizens.”

Mayor Tara Veer agreed.

“The victory really does belong to the City staff who have worked so hard on this. Council was strong and resolute in your position and you were tenacious and not for political purposes but because it was the right thing to do. It was for the health and safety of the citizens both locally and in our region,” she said.

City council voted unanimously in favour of endorsing the letter of intent.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

Country star Brett Kissel releases new album

Kissel excited to make a stop in Red Deer

Westerner Park takes home international prize for Urban Farm Project

Organizer said she wanted to create an urban farm that would connect urban dwellers to agriculture

Glamorous Red Deer clothing on display

Red Deer MAG showcases stylish dresses worn through the City’s history

Santa launches holiday blood drive at Red Deer clinic

The Berry Family was on site to encourage others to give blood

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

The expected strength of the winds have reached uncharted territory

North Korea says war is inevitable

North Korea says war is inevitable as allies continue war games

UPDATE: Al Franken resigns from Senate amid allegations

Announcement coming from Sen. Franken amid fresh accusations

Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriages

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 62 per cent of registered voters favoured reform.

YouTube Canada Reveals the top videos of 2017

From a sea lion that got a bit too frisky to a toddler stealing popcorn from Prince Harry - we watched it all

Canadians urged to exercise caution in Middle East ahead of protests

Protests are in reaction to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets: sources

The Liberals had planned to buy 18 Super Hornets

Most Read