January 17th, 2021

In an emergency, seconds matter

By Letter to the Editor on October 9, 2020.

This is my first Letter to the Editor. But 10 years ago, on Oct. 1, I did something else for the very first time. I dialed 911.

My husband and I had returned from a night out with friends, and he had a major heart attack. But because of many different professionals both here and at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, he survived. And for the most part, we were able to thank the ambulance, fire personnel, the nurses and doctors who all were a part of this. But there was one person we were never able to thank, and that was the nameless 911 operator who started the chain of events that saved his life that night.

We lived in a part of Lethbridge that has cul de sacs and crescents, and because she was local, right here in Lethbridge, she knew to deploy the appropriate resources and understood my directions. The ambulance and fire truck were there in mere minutes. Because of that nameless 911 operator, four of our children were able to have their dad at their weddings; six of our (yet to be born) grandkids got to meet their grandpa; and my husband and I have had 10 more years of endless drives chasing sunsets and singing carpool karaoke. And I got to have 10 more years of being a wife, instead of a widow.

We learned afterward that he had a 90 per cent blockage of an artery they call the widowmaker. But because of that 911 operator, he received the help he needed in the fastest time possible. We both want to thank her today, 10 years later. She understood what resources were needed, and she knew exactly where to send them.

Please support our city council in their quest to keep our integrated services and 911 dispatch local. Call our local MLAs. Seconds do matter; I know.

Colleen Quintal


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Southern Albertan

Again, if it comes to pass that integrated services causes harm to anyone because of a slower response time, Alberta voters not only have the job of holding the current UCP government’s feet to the fire now, but also in where they park their votes in the future.


This is important that everyone listen to Colleen and email your the Premier, not your MLA . . . go directly to the Premier and tell him you do not want your EMS dispatch services moved to Calgary or Edmonton.
Other communities have been fighting since 2012 to get their dispatch back locally, with services degraded.
I believe this is the first step of a process to privatize EMS services, along with Healthcare! You need to respond to this now, not a week from now.
Email him now – – premier@gov.ab.ca