Loading articles...

City council to fight UCP government over EMS dispatching

Last Updated Sep 18, 2020 at 11:12 am MST

A look at an AHS ambulance during a public event. (PHOTO: Kaitlin Lee - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – City council is vowing to take on the health minister and the UCP government over its desire to centralize Calgary’s locally run ambulance dispatch.

Last month, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced all EMS dispatching services would be consolidated to provincially run centres in Calgary, Peace River and Edmonton.

Shandro said the move would save Alberta Health Services (AHS) roughly $6 million a year and lead to better coordination for ambulance services.

WATCH: AHS to take control of ambulance dispatching

The consolidation will see Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Wood Buffalo’s local dispatch moved to the AHS centres, a move all four municipalities oppose.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said this could result in longer response times and jeopardize safety.

However, Shandro refutes those claims saying it will not affect response times and could actually make them quicker.

On Twitter, Shandro said having locally run dispatch centres is redundant and pointed to the AHS centre in Edmonton which he said EMS response times are slightly lower than Calgary’s.

The transition is expected to take place over the next six months and will not affect local fire, police and Medical First Response, as that will still be dispatched by municipal services.