The Alberta government was criticized for proposals to cut wages for some health workers in negotiations with the Health Sciences Association of Alberta. Health Minister Jason Copping said the proposed cuts represent only an opening position in negotiations and he is confident an agreement will be reached. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

AHS investigates EMS response time in fatal Calgary dog attack

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services says it has completed an investigation into why it took 30 minutes for an ambulance to respond after dogs attacked an 86-year-old woman in Calgary.

Police and paramedics who were called Sunday to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood in the city’s northwest found the injured woman.

She was taken to hospital and later died.

Alberta Health Services, which runs emergency medical services, says in a statement that the initial 911 call was sent to police based on the information provided from the scene.

Spokesman James Wood says the call was initially triaged as non-life-threatening, but police notified EMS when they arrived on scene that the patient’s injuries were serious.

Wood says EMS then dispatched an ambulance, which arrived nine minutes later.

“This tragic incident occurred at a time of very high EMS call volumes,” he said. “However, once the call was deemed high priority, an ambulance was dispatched immediately.

“AHS is discussing these findings further within EMS and will reach out to (Calgary police) to identify any further learnings from this tragic incident.”

A police investigation into the fatal dog attack is ongoing.

Police have said the three dogs, which were seized by the city, are believed to be a North American pit bull-terrier mix, a North American Staffordshire mix and an American pit bull.

Criminal charges or fines could be laid and the dogs could be put down.