Province Removing 911 Medical Dispatch Services From RMWB

The RMWB’s medical dispatch site is being shut down.

Alberta Health Services is transitioning operations to one of the three provincial centres in Calgary, Edmonton, and Peace River.

The local centre is one of four across the province who had remained separate from the AHS dispatch system since 2009.

Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck tells Mix News there will be no changes for those who need to call 911.

“The 911 call itself will still be answered locally and will be transferred to one of our EMS dispatch centres with a touch of the button.”

This change will only impact emergency medical dispatch services. Regional Emergency Services and Wood Buffalo RCMP will continue to be dispatched by the RMWB.

The goal of the move is to reduce costs. The province is expected to save over $6 million annually.

Despite this, Sandbeck says the time for each call will stay the same.

“We do this hundreds of times a day across the province, not just ourselves but other public safety agencies as well, and there’s very minimal risk.”

He wouldn’t say whether the closure will result in any layoffs due to the contract being under the RMWB.

AHS is, however, planning to hire 25 individuals to help with the expected increase in volume to EMS Communications Centres.

The transition will happen over the next six months.

-An earlier version stated all local dispatch services were being shut down, however, just medical dispatch services are being removed

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