Colin Baird, is one of the Red Deer community paramedic team members. The program exists in Calgary and Edmonton and is new to the city. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Community paramedic program to expand throughout Central Alberta

Mobile paramedic program has seen success

It’s been less than two months since a community mobile paramedic program rolled out in Red Deer and already there are plans for expansion.

Ryan Kozicky, director of EMS mobile integrated health care (provincially), said the program will be introduced to Lacombe, Sylvan Lake, Innisfail, and Bentley around mid-April.

Unlike a traditional paramedic, a community paramedic provides on-site non-emergency-type-care to seniors and others with chronic conditions, at continuing care centres, like Points West Living and Extendicare Michener Hill in Red Deer. The program reduces the use of ambulance transport, acute care beds and hospital resources.

Kozicky, based in Calgary, said the response has been positive towards the program that started in Red Deer on Feb. 12.

The community paramedic response team in Red Deer is made up of five full-time community paramedics who man SUV-type vehicles that consists of equipment for assessment and treatment.

Kozicky said, in Red Deer, the community paramedic members drive two to three units every day averaging about 20 calls per week. The same team will go out to the outlining communities where the program will be available to seniors and continuing care centres.

Kozicky said the program is also growing in Red Deer and will soon be available to private residents for the “vulnerable population” like those who have chronic conditions.

He said the Red Deer community paramedics team is creating referral pathways by partnering with Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, Parent Care Network, and family physicians in the city.

“We’re providing them the ability to refer patients (to us) that they think will fill the requirement,” he said, adding that this will increase patient base.

The paramedic team connects with physicians to understand patient concern before proceeding with a treatment plan. They are trained in wound treatment, diagnostics, electrocardiograms, IV treatments and blood transfusions.

Although the program is new to some communities like Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat, it’s not new to Edmonton and Calgary. Last year community paramedics helped close to 15,000 patients in the two cities.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001 HALIFAX —… Continue reading

Rural communities could face policing bills

Province considering getting smaller and rural communities to pick up a portion of policing costs

Random Acts of Green Canadian tour comes to Red Deer

Red Deerians are being encouraged to lessen their impact on the environment.… Continue reading

Free blood testing for HIV, Hep C, syphilis offered Thursday in Red Deer

Anyone can drop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bower Ponds pavilion

Red Deer economy bouncing back but slowly: report

While Red Deer’s economy has been in recovery mode for the past… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001 HALIFAX —… Continue reading

CFL rushing leader Andrew Harris returns to Winnipeg offence versus Alouettes

Andrew Harris returns to anchor the CFL’s top-ranked ground attack this weekend.… Continue reading

Humphries declines Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s invitation to return to bob team

CALGARY — Olympic bobsled champion Kaillie Humphries says she won’t race for… Continue reading

Retired Canadians Virtue and Moir leave ice dancing in a better place

TORONTO — Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir knew they were taking a… Continue reading

Cheryl Bernard to play as a substitute on Team Scheidegger at three events

Sometimes when curling analyst Cheryl Bernard makes the walk from the broadcast… Continue reading

Couche-Tard wants to be a player in the sale of cannabis

LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. wants to be one of the… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: A safe supply of water has long been a priority for Red Deer

The oldest part of the Red Deer water treatment plant on 54th… Continue reading

Most Read