Red Deer city councillors discussed additional ways on Tuesday to try to restore integrated ambulance services to the city and region.
After hearing from Fire Chief Ken McMullen about various glitches and delays under the new consolidated model of ambulance dispatching that was implemented by Alberta Health Services in January, additional advocacy tactics were considered by council.
Some tactics at the city’s disposal are: Calling on the AHS board of directors to share technical briefings; and asking the Health Quality Council of Alberta to review dispatch consolidation from a patient safety perspective.
Red Deerians and residents of other affected communities could be encouraged to share their experiences of ambulance delays and problems with AHS, their MLAs and the media, as well as social media.
The City of Red Deer has already approved a draft resolution to be discussed at the next conference of the Urban Municipalities Association. It will request that the Government of Alberta perform a third-party review of the current consolidated AHS system.
Since the City of Red Deer employs integrated paramedics/firemedics, Mayor Tara Veer and council have argued that it makes more sense to have ambulance and fire calls handled out of the same dispatch centre, instead of the separate AHS model.