LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge, Red Deer and Wood Buffalo are offering to pay the province to keep EMS dispatch locally operated.

The communities each receive funding annually from Alberta Health Services to operate local ambulance dispatch through integrated municipal dispatch centres.

By offering to pay for the services, they would retain current emergency ambulance dispatch at no cost to the province.

In a joint statement released Tuesday afternoon, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says “we feel strongly that our integrated Fire and EMS system provides the best service to our residents as efficiently as possible. So strongly, that we are willing to invest municipal funding to maintain local EMS dispatch and preserve our fully integrated system.”

The government’s decision to consolidate dispatch is set to take effect on Jan. 12, 2021.

So far there has been no formal response from Premier Jason Kenney on the offers.