December 5th, 2020

EMS decision is saving money at what cost?

By Letter to the Editor on October 24, 2020.

So, our misguided Minster Shandro “will not overturn the AHS decision” to end the EMS dispatch contracts in Lethbridge. He assures us “There is no reason to expect response times to change.” I beg to differ.

A year ago my wife suffered a TIA (mini-stroke.) I called 911, was told to give her two Aspirins to chew, and that help was on its way. By the time I got the Aspirins, and she chewed them, the ambulance was at our door. Incidentally, we live about three blocks from the fire station.

Now, if I had to call Calgary to get this information, the operator would then relay my message to the nearest location in Lethbridge. What if we lived on a named street? Could the operator get get confused with Coulee, or Drive, or Crescent? You see what I mean. A Lethbridge operator would be better aware of such potential confusions and would ascertain the exact address before sending help, and the response team would also be aware of the possible confusion. In the past we have heard of 911 operators sending help to the wrong address or even to the wrong town! Local people know the areas they work and live in!

Now the real concern: How can two phone calls take the same time to make as one call. Surely there must be a bit of extra time in making the second call, ensuring that the information is accurate and correct. So, Minister Shandro, do you really believe that there will be no change in response time? It seems to me that there will be precious moments lost which might make a difference in some lives being saved! Yes, the government may save money by consolidating the EMS dispatches; but at what potential cost?

Eugene Balay


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Fedup Conservative

There is no question that this will cost some people their lives, but these guys don’t care. Don’t forget the lawsuits launched against Klein for deaths attributed to his health care cuts. They were settled out of court, behind closed doors, under a gag order, so Albertans weren’t allowed to know what it cost them.


In other news today, the “Province gives $11.8 million to U of C for science research”.

It seems that almost daily, this Province is handing out funding left and right.

Tyler (I won’t even give him the respect of his “title”) claims EMS consolidation will save $6 million. My guess is that after they get their hands on this pet project, it will actually end up COSTING Albertans millions due to their incompetence. And COSTING lives.

When all 4 mayors involved are unified and defiant against EMS consolidation, it can only be Tyler’s arrogance that carries this forward. He is a public servant. Paid to do what the people want, not push his own agenda forward in the face of public opposition.

Do your job Tyler.

Fedup Conservative

Well Said. Under Klein we were told we lost 14,783 health care workers and created a nightmare in our health care system,. It still hadn’t recovered fully and now Kenney wants to do it all over again. Where is the intelligence in that? .


Nothing changed despite billions being thrown at it since the Klein days. All the rhetoric about people dying waiting for an ambulance. Several years back it was the “code red” fear mongering so the answer was an ambulance, fire truck on every corner. When they were all in service a code red was declared and the nearest ambulance (Coaldale) etc., was dispatched. Difference here is the location of the phone call and AHS will determine if fire or police are needed. Fire and police being dispatched to calls where they weren’t needed is also an issue in the numbers game.


The data collected since 2009 from other communities forced back then into the centralized dispatch find the costs are much higher financially, with issues such as overlapping of services, ambulances sent out of area for long trips, higher man-hour costs and of course they don’t care about the value of life or longer wait times could maim if not kill due to injuries note being treated as fast!
This government has been taken over by a bunch of accountants that have no clue how it is in the real world, only their world of mathematics! There is no humane thoughts factored into their calculations . . . time for everyone to start reporting the losses of human life they see . . . there are groups growing that will be holding them accountable!

Dennis Bremner

You have a far greater chance of a delay in Emergency Medical Assistance with them having to provide assistance to every drug addict who wishes to experiment with the new batch! No one thinks about having Ambulances all over this city responding to, multiple overdose drug addicts ,that it will not interfere with YOU getting an ambulance when needed?
The system, as a result of these changes will be slower. But, now that it is slower, every death will be blamed on the new system, when in fact availability of ambulances in Lethbridge will likely be the primary issue in delays not the system change.
So in the end, a dispatch delay of 1-2 more minutes will be blamed for a delay of 10 minutes because of an overtaxing delay. We have far greater problems than just dispatch in Lethbridge, but I am sure most here know that, all you have to do is listen to the never ending sound of sirens 24/7.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner

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