Ambulance dispatch staying put

Ambulances will continue to be sent out of Red Deer’s dispatch centre after the province reversed its decision to dissolve the service and transfer it to Calgary. The province put a new deal on the table after Red Deer and other communities sounded the alarm about the potential impact on patients.

Ambulances will continue to be sent out of Red Deer’s dispatch centre after the province reversed its decision to dissolve the service and transfer it to Calgary.

The province put a new deal on the table after Red Deer and other communities sounded the alarm about the potential impact on patients.

A new agreement in principle between the city and the province was inked at a meeting in Calgary on Friday.

The new deal is deemed a “collaborative working model” that allows Red Deer to retain its integrated fire and ambulance dispatch and regional service area.

Any consolidations that have occurred today will still stand including the Alberta Health Services dispatches in Edmonton, Calgary and Peace River.

Under the proposed model, Red Deer, Wood Buffalo and Lethbridge will become satellite dispatch centres as a delegated authority under a dispatch contract.

The satellite centres will provide back up in the case of provincial wide emergencies or if another dispatch centre runs into problems.

Mayor Tara Veer said the city’s intent was to retain regional ambulance dispatch, its service area and the ability to integrate fire and ambulance response.

“The collaborative model that is on the table at a high level appears to accomplish this,” said Veer.

“Obviously there will be a period of operational transition and interface that will occur and will come once we deal with the dispatch contracts… On a high level principle basis, this is the best case scenario for Red Deer and region.”

City manager Craig Curtis called the agreement a positive outcome for Red Deer and surrounding communities. Curtis said they do not have all the specifics including service area boundaries.

Veer said not only is this good news for its lobbying efforts but ultimately for the health and safety of Red Deerians and the region.

Each year Red Deer provides ambulance and fire service to an estimated 300,000 residents outside of Red Deer. The city provides fire dispatch to 70 municipalities and ambulance dispatch to eight municipalities.

“We have shifted from cautiously optimistic to optimistic that there will be a solution,” said Curtis. “The province’s decision to reevaluate their plan and revisit this conversation demonstrates their respect and commitment to the health and well being of citizens and communities across the province.”

Veer said Health Minister Fred Horne said in the meeting this is a high priority for the province. She expects the city will enter into formal contract negotiations with the province in the coming weeks.

Horne said municipalities will have a place at the table for future discussions related to dispatch.

A similar proposal was also presented to Lethbridge and Wood Buffalo mayors on Friday.

A report from the Health Quality Council of Alberta recommended ambulance dispatch be centralized in March 2013.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read