Emergency Services seeking 10 more fire-medics

Ten more fire-medics are needed to cope with soaring call volumes and lengthening response times.

Ten more fire-medics are needed to cope with soaring call volumes and lengthening response times.

Since 2009, Emergency Services calls have jumped 28 per cent to just over 11,000. Fire calls alone have increased 31 per cent to just under 1,700.

Emergency co-response (requiring both ambulance and fire) rose a staggering 152 per cent to 3,817 calls from 1,457.

That surge in workload has left some stations understaffed at times and caused service levels to drop. The city target is for Emergency Services to respond within four minutes of travel time 90 per cent of the time.

In 2009, the department hit that target 88 per cent of the time, but only 81 per cent of the time in 2014.

From 2009 to 2014, the city’s population increased 9.6 per cent to 98,585.

Elaine Vincent, the city’s director of development services, said adding the fire-medics is needed to meet the city’s contractual obligations with Alberta Health Services but also to meet provincial response requirements under the province’s high-intensity residential fire legislation that requires a truck on scene within 10 minutes 90 per cent of the time.

“Currently right now we are at risk of not meeting some of those (standards) with some of our fire halls that are not staffed at the same level as others,” said Vincent following a budget presentation to city council on Wednesday.

Adding the fire-medics will cost the city about $887,000 this year, including $70,000 in one-time costs.

Another $200,000 has been requested to update the Emergency Services Master Plan.

Mayor Tara Veer questioned whether the addition of fire-medics should await the results of the master plan review.

Vincent said that regardless of the plan’s outcome, the additional help is needed to meet standards.

City manager Craig Curtis said senior staff also considered the same question, and after detailed review, he is “thoroughly satisfied” the additional fire-medics are warranted.


Just Posted

UCP candidate fined $70,000

Penalty against Jeff Callaway is for two dozen separate offences

Kraay Family corn maze celebrates 20 years

Maze and dozens of other attractions at Kraay Family Farm opens on Friday

Cross-country country music show Thursday night at Red Deer’s Westerner Days

Musians Aaron Goodvin and Jason Benoit perform at the Centrium

Rebalancing Red Deer’s residential growth begins with Hazlett Lake plans

Northwest neighbourhoods to be developed over next decade or two

Study says rents in most cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners

OTTAWA — A minimum-wage worker could afford to rent in just a… Continue reading

Documents shed light on seniors poverty figures used by federal Liberals

OTTAWA — Internal government documents say that many of the 57,000 seniors… Continue reading

High court won’t hear NDP expenses case over mailings, offices

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court may have just killed off the NDP’s… Continue reading

Justin Trudeau takes aim at NDP over EU-Canada trade pact as summit wraps up

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling out New Democrats after… Continue reading

Defence calling no evidence in case of German tourist shot west of Calgary

CALGARY — The defence is calling no evidence on behalf of a… Continue reading

Tale of two libraries: Edmonton design backlash morphs into rivalry with Calgary

EDMONTON — The pitched reaction to Edmonton’s remodelled downtown library has morphed… Continue reading

Mountain pine beetle makes its way into Ponoka County

Assar Grinde has a special attachment to the pine trees that line… Continue reading

Opinion: Supervised consumption sites can’t be abandoned in Alberta

By Heather Sweet When Jason Luan, the provincial government’s associate minister of… Continue reading

FIFA claims progress in letting women attend games in Iran

ZURICH — FIFA says Iran’s soccer federation supports letting women attend 2022… Continue reading

Most Read