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HQCA to lead the review into EMS response to fatal Calgary dog attack

The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) will lead the independent review into the EMS response during a fatal June 5 dog attack in Calgary.

Earlier this month, AHS said an independent review would be done and that they estimate it could take four months.

It was reported that paramedics took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene where an 86-year-old woman was attacked. Later, AHS said the initial call was deemed non-life-threatening and an ambulance wasn’t immediately dispatched.

After a second call to 911 that described the scene more urgently, an ambulance was dispatched. They said it took between nine and 10 minutes to arrive on the scene. To date, the 911 call audio or transcript has not been released publicly.

HQCA has brought on a 30-year paramedic veteran and Systems and Strategy Office for B.C. Emergency Health Services, Kevin Smith, for the review. Smith will be joined by Kim Ridgen-Briscall, Associate Director of the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.

“We are pleased to lead this review. The HQCA will bring an objective, evidence-based analysis. We will identify if there are broader health system factors that contributed to the incident and will make recommendations for any improvement opportunities,” said Charlene McBrien-Morrison, CEO of HQCA, in a prepared release.

AHS said during their June 9 media availability that the controversial EMS dispatch consolidation was not a factor in this incident.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek along with local first responder union leaders said it did have an impact. They’re still calling on the province to reverse its decision.

“Let’s maybe get smart about the fact that taking dispatch the route that the province did was a fatal mistake,” Mayor Gondek told LiveWire Calgary shortly after the incident.