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Alberta NDP leader in Lethbridge to advocate for local EMS dispatch

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Alberta’s New Democrat opposition is pushing the provincial government and AHS to scrap plans to consolidate local EMS disptach.

Leader Rachel Notley was in Lethbridge Thursday (Sept. 24) to advocate for dispatch to stay as it is, saying this is a misguided plan by Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

Speaking at the Lethbridge Fire Headquarters Notley said AHS has tried this with past governments too, including when she was premier.

“There is no evidence that this move will improve ambulance services,” Notley said, “There’s a real chance it will make services worse. It’s just not worth it to roll the dice on such a critical system with the lives of Albertans at stake.”

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Notley says Shandro never consulted with the mayors of Red Deer, Calgary, Fort McMurray and Lethbridge on this plan, all of whom want the current system to remain.

The NDP leader was joined by Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips and Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Chief Kelly L’Hirondelle.

“We believe that the City of Lethbridge, our partner municipalities and the Province of Alberta have the same goals when it comes to emergency services,” said L’Hirondelle. “The best possible patient outcomes, financial efficiencies, and operational efficiencies. It is our opinion that consolidating EMS dispatch services accomplishes none of those things.”

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman was scheduled to be in Edmonton on Thursday, joined by the mayors of Calgary, Red Deer, and Wood Buffalo to push for the UCP government to abandoned the EMS consolidation plan, which the government says would save the province $6 million a year.

Those advocating for local EMS dispatch to remain argue consolidation will result in longer response times and potentially cost lives.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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