A meeting about Alberta Health Service’s plans to remove the local EMS dispatch site is happening at the Alberta legislature.
Mayor Don Scott and Fire Chief Jody Butz are traveling down to Edmonton on Thursday to speak out against the move directly to Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health, and Tracy Allard, Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Wood Buffalo’s site is one of four across the province, joining Calgary, Lethbridge, and Red Deer, who’ll be centralized into one of three provincial centres.
The RMWB has expressed concerns about the timing of provincial dispatchers, noting local employees, on average, send out ambulances around 48 seconds faster.
“It would not just impact the 9-1-1 call processing during an emergency — it would cripple our ability to send an extra ambulance when our four ambulances are already busy,” said Mayor Scott.
“AHS would send an ambulance an outside region – such as Lac La Biche or Boyle, rather dispatching one from our Fort McMurray Fire Halls, where cross-trained firefighters and Paramedics are ready to respond.”
This move is expected to save around $6 million annually with AHS stating nothing will change for those who need to call 9-1-1.