RMWB Claims They’ve Intervened in 20 Per Cent Of 9-1-1 EMS Calls Since AHS Took Over

The municipality has intervened in around 20 per cent of 9-1-1 calls made since Alberta Health Services took over local EMS dispatch services.

That’s according to Mayor Don Scott who, along with Fire Chief Jody Butz, held a press conference on Monday to share experiences from residents over the past two weeks.

In total, over 20 calls have allegedly seen a delay in service.

Butz says one incident involved a young resident calling 9-1-1 to help their friend.

“They had their call transferred three times across this province requiring the caller to repeat the address of the patient six separate times resulting in a significant delay in the dispatching process.”

The RMWB also shared the experience of an individual who crashed their snowmobile near Anzac.

Instead of dispatching the personnel from the fire department, AHS sent an ambulance from Fort McMurray which was over 30 minutes away. They reportedly called for a second ambulance after arriving due to the injuries sustained by the person.

This individual was later transported to an Edmonton-area hospital.

Butz also claimed there have been two ‘code red situation’ which are declared when all ambulances are in use.

He also noted they’ve seen issues around local medevac services as HERO has been forced to wait until a ground ambulance arrived on the scene.

“This just exemplifies everything that we predicted would go wrong and shows that every insurance we’ve received has not lived up to the province that was made,” added Scott.

Meanwhile, AHS is arguing against these claims.

Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck also held a press conference on Monday where he stated there have been no delays in service since they’ve taken over in Wood Buffalo, Calgary, Red Deer, and Lethbridge.

When speaking about the incident in Anzac, he noted this wasn’t a call for the fire department.

“We within our [medical first response] program work with all the individual MFR agencies across the province through, effectively, a checklist of the calls they’re going to respond to. This call type was not a call that the Anzac fire department chose to respond to so they were not notified.”

Sandbeck also said he couldn’t speak to any calls being intervened by the RMWB as he would first need to look into it.

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