Calgary’s Priorities and Finance Committee heard more information on the province’s EMS dispatch consolidation on Tuesday. This has been an ongoing story for the past six months. On Monday, the four mayors affected held a press conference to restate their concerns over consolidation.
New details you need to know:
- Calgary Community Standards Director Richard Hinse said AHS doesn’t have a plan for implementing a practice of “co-evaluation.” That’s where multiple agencies can collect information from a 911 caller to determine if a response multi-agency response is needed (ie: police or fire in addition to EMS.)
- Hinse also said AHS won’t agree to call co-evaluation, which the City has been doing internally for years.
- There is a tri-service response to roughly 41 calls per day, Hinse said.
- The transition is expected to take place Jan. 26. The province pays the city $6 million to cover EMS dispatch, but the switch will save $3 million due to costs taken on by the province.
AUDIO: What this means – Richard Hinse – Community Standards director
- “These are terrible answers. They’re very good answers from your perspective. They’re making me extremely grumpy,” said Mayor Nenshi, after going through a series of potential scenarios.
- “They (the province) are breaking the gold standard, as Richard mentioned earlier, by breaking this element out of 911,” Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth, after talking about the history of how they got to the coordinated response for Calgary emergency services.
- “There has been no change in direction from the Government of Alberta. EMS dispatch integration is proceeding as planned. Paramedic and public safety are at the forefront of the work we do every day. If police are needed on an EMS call, AHS EMS Emergency Communications Officers notify police directly and immediately.
A paramedic, ECO or 911 caller can request police assistance at any time during an event. Additionally, AHS EMS has a Law Enforcement Response Plan that determines what call types require automatic notification of law enforcement.” – Statement from AHS.