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EMS station on life support

The province’s takeover of EMS has left modern­ization plans for oneCalgary station in limbo, while six on the books in Edmonton will alsobe reassessed.

The province’s takeover of EMS has left modern­ization plans for one Calgary station in limbo, while six on the books in Edmonton will also be reassessed.

Alberta Health Services took over ambulance operations provincewide on Wednesday and that has left a major expansion for EMS Station No. 6, at 1940 Westmount Blvd. N.W., in doubt.

AHS spokeswoman Sheila Rougeau said with the transition only a few days old, there are many details that will have to be worked out over time.

“It was a city plan and a city project and as of today it has been cancelled,” she said. “We’re currently analyzing all capital projects and priorities.”

In addition to the stalled Calgary expansion, Rougeau said six facilities that were in Edmonton’s 2009-2010 capital plan have also been cancelled while AHS goes over its new assets.

Sharon Purvis, the city’s director of corporate properties and buildings, said the estimated $14-million modernization had been in the city’s 2006-2008 business plan to account for additional growth in West Hillhurst and the surrounding inner city areas.

“Under the city’s deployment model we were looking at densification and other service opportunities,” she said.

“We stopped work when the province announced the takeover, but some of the work is transferable regardless of the future use of the site.”

Currently the station has three ambulances operating with between six and nine paramedics on staff at any given time.

The provincial acquisition of EMS services included leasing existing facilities from the city, but Rougeau said the future of all ambulance stations would have to be determined from a regional perspective.

Ald. Druh Farrell said the plans for the northwest facility were cutting edge and she hopes the province will follow through with the work that’s already been done.

“If it does go forward in the same fashion I hope they’ll follow the plans that came out of some very close work with the community,” she said.

“Whether it will be saved or not, we’ll have to wait and see.”

– The amount is in the 14 millions that the modernization, intended to compensate for growth in West Hillhurst and the surrounding areas, had been expected to cost.

 
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