Monday, November 15, 2021
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EMS dispatch changeover set to start Tuesday in Lethbridge, three other communities

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – One last plea from the frustrated mayors of four Alberta cities who want to keep local EMS dispatch.

The mayors of Lethbridge, Red Deer, Calgary, and the Municipality of Wood Buffalo held a virtual press conference Monday to again ask for Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro to reverse course.

The communities have been advocating to keep local dispatch for months with the change-over set to take place Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says this move by the UCP government is “reckless”.

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“Siloing EMS dispatch and separating it from the other emergency services it will result in fragmentation of services and poor patient outcomes. Minister Shandro has consistently failed to address this issue and has not demonstrated that he understands it.”
-Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman

Three of the cities have even offered to pay to keep local dispatch, however there’s been no response from Premier Jason Kenney to the letter they wrote a few weeks ago.

Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips continues to speak out against the decision as well.

She says residents will pay the price in slower response times and added property taxes in order to cover the costs of transitioning the system.

“Premier Kenney now needs to intervene, and stop this idea that has been rejected by PCs, Wildrose, NDP, and even some UCP MLAs.” -Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips

Phillips says the Premier has the ability to reverse AHS’s decision, but he has ignored the pleas of community leaders, citizens, first responders, healthcare workers, and patients.

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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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