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Mayors disappointed in province’s failure to reverse EMS dispatch consolidation

LETHBRIDGE, AB – Four Alberta mayors expressing their disappointment that a motion failed in the Legislature this week, attempting to reverse emergency medical dispatch consolidation.

A motion was brought forward on Monday (Mar. 15) asking that the provincial government take immediate action to reverse the centralization of emergency medical dispatch for Lethbridge, Red Deer and Calgary.

The motion stated:
“Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to take into consideration the views of the residents of Calgary, Lethbridge, and Red Deer, who are well served by a local, integrated model of emergency dispatch, and immediately take steps to reverse the decision to implement the centralization of the dispatch of emergency medical services.”

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wasn’t included in the resolution due to an ongoing court injunction imposed by the Alberta Government, after that municipality opted out of centralization on its own in February. However, Mayor Don Scott still offered his support for the motion.

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman also says it’s a disappointing outcome, adding that the motion was intended to recognize “the importance of community safety and preserving the effectiveness of emergency services.”

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All four communities continue to stress that they’ve experienced significant issues with EMS dispatch since it was centralized at the start of the year.

The mayors are asking all Albertans to call on Premier Jason Kenney to step in and return dispatch to local jurisdiction. They’re also requesting, once again, that a third-party external review of the provincial dispatch system be completed in order to improve the service.

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