By Jensen, Randy on September 2, 2020.
The Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs will open its 53rd season on Thursday discussing the possibility of response time delays if emergency dispatch is centralized in Calgary.
Alberta Health Services recently announced ambulance dispatch services will be consolidated across the province, pulling Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Wood Buffalo into existing EMS dispatch centres. Lethbridge Fire Department (LFD) has been providing ambulance/EMS services to citizens since 1912, and has always acted as the dispatch service as well. They are currently under contract to AHS EMS to provide the EMS service as well as the dispatch service. The dispatch service provides coverage not only to the City of Lethbridge, but many other EMS services in the area.
LFD has several concerns with Alberta Health Service Emergency Medical Services decision to remove local EMS dispatch from Lethbridge and move it to Calgary. They feel this will create delays in the dispatching of fire units that also provide advanced life support to our citizens. They also have concerns that AHS/EMS-provided dispatch will eliminate the City’s EMS units, leaving the service short of units. As well, a lack of familiarity with this area will arguably create additional delays.
Speaker Warren Nelson will elaborate and explain how crucial quick response times are when trying to save lives.
Nelson is the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Local 237, Lethbridge. He has been with the Lethbridge Fire Department for 22 years and involved with their union since 2001.
Thursday’s online session is set for 10 a.m. on YouTube Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2XEhTrqhnw.
In order to ask questions of the speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in. People are urged to create an account well ahead of the scheduled start time Go to the YouTube Live link provided in the address below and on the top right of your browser click the “sign in” button.
If you have Google or Gmail accounts, they can be used to sign in. If you don’t, click “Create Account” and follow along. Once you are signed in, you can return to the live stream and use the chat feature to ask your questions of the speaker. Remember, you can only participate in the chat feature while the session is livestreaming.
Link to SACPA’s YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFUQ5mUHv1gfmMFVr8d9dNA. For further information visit the SACPA website https://www.sacpa.ca/.