Monday, November 15, 2021
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Lethbridge Mayor still concerned following EMS dispatch meeting

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Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says it remains to be seen if the provincial government will continue with the planned consolidation of local emergency medical dispatch.

Spearman was joined by the mayors of Calgary, Red Deer, and Fort McMurray as they went to Edmonton Thursday (Sept. 24) to talk with the ministers of Health and Municipal Affairs in the hopes of convincing them to keep things the way they are.

Spearman says overall, he’s very concerned. “Minister Shandro thanked us at the meeting and said that he would review the information. But his news release afterwards says that he believed consolidating ambulance dispatch makes sense. He never said that at the meeting so we’re a little confused and somewhat disappointed.”

The four mayors are united in their concerns that consolidating EMS dispatch will impact ambulance response times and cost lives.

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“When it comes to emergency services, the goal of our municipalities, and I believe the Province of Alberta, is to provide excellent patient outcomes using the most efficient system possible. We delivered evidence to the Ministers that makes it very clear that these goals are being met with our current system and removing integrated EMS dispatch will threaten the safety and well-being of Albertans,” stated Spearman following the meeting Thursday.

Alberta Health Services announced during the summer than centralizing dispatch could save around $6 million dollars a year.

Lethbridge-East UCP MLA Nathan Neudorf weighed into the EMS dispatch consolidation issue Friday. He says having Lethbridge retain its integrated Fire and EMS dispatch is something he’s had a number of conversations with Health Minister Shandro about.

“In my experience, public confrontation and demands are the least effective form of resolution and negotiation,” says Neudorf. “For me, it’s about the best possible health outcomes for people in Lethbridge and maintaining that quality of service we have now. If they can’t commit to that or meet that, I will be the first in line to make sure people in Lethbridge get the service they need.”

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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 News 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.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

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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