AHS Officially Takes Over Local EMS Service, Chief Butz Asking For People To Share Experiences

Alberta Health Services is officially taking over EMS dispatch across the RMWB.

The province’s plan to consolidate the service into AHS’s system officially took place on Tuesday which means dispatchers working in the provincial centres will now be in charge of sending out ambulances in the RMWB.

The move, which was announced back in August, has been met with a lot of pushback from the RMWB and Regional Emergency Services.

Fire Chief Jody Butz tells Mix News their data shows local dispatchers send out ambulances around a minute faster.

“When you’re talking about a minute… that’s a long time. Not everyone has phoned 9-1-1 but I’ll tell you, if you have, help can’t get there fast enough.”

In an attempt to keep the service as is, the municipality planned to cover the costs. Despite this, the province decided to move forward with the plan claiming the provincial system is better.

Butz says the province knows this isn’t true, but they still wouldn’t change their mind.

“This is about control, this is about fulfilling a plan that was put in place 11 years ago and we know that it doesn’t work.”

He adds they know of around 30 municipalities that have seen a dip in service.

Mix News reached out to AHS to discuss the move, however, they didn’t want to comment at this time.

Meanwhile, Butz is asking people who need to call 9-1-1 to share their experiences.

“If you feel the Emergency Medical (Ambulance) Service you were provided did not meet your needs, I want to hear about it,” he added.

“Alberta Health Services has not given us any assurances that they will listen to our concerns, but we will continue to share these with them, whether they are meaningfully heard, or not.”

Residents can email him directly at [email protected] or call the Pulse Line at 780-743-7000.

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