LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge City Council is requesting further investigation into EMS dispatch options.

Following a recent decision by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to attempt opting out of centralized EMS dispatch, City Council on Tuesday directed the City Manager to gather further information to inform any possible actions for Lethbridge moving forward.

The items to be explored include:

  • possibility of the City of Lethbridge taking similar action as RMWB and opting out of centralized dispatch
  • determining if it would be advantageous to lend Lethbridge’s support to the RMWB legal case
  • monitoring future legal proceedings between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and RMWB

The City of Lethbridge has been united with RMWB, the City of Calgary and the City of Red Deer, in advocating to retain local EMS dispatch services since last August when AHS made the decision to centralize.

“For months we had identified the risks associated with this new model and raised those concerns with both AHS and the Government of Alberta. We still have not had meaningful conversations and resolutions to many of those issues. Given the seriousness of this issue, we need to continue to look at all options available in order to protect the safety of our residents and our emergency crews.” -Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman

All four municipalities going through this transition say they’ve experienced challenges and issues, with Lethbridge reporting addresses have been incorrectly relayed to EMS crews on several occasions causing delays in response times.