Concern lingers over rural EMS service – Metro US

Concern lingers over rural EMS service

The first regional EMS dispatch service set to be folded into Calgary’s system is expressing concerns over the transfer and potential impact on rural clients.

Calgary has been tapped by Alberta Health Services to take over all ambulance dispatch operations in southern Alberta, but with Foothills Regional EMS set to be consolidated by the end of October, the commission guiding the agency is worried the service level may drop.

Fred Stegmeier, executive director of the service that covers seven municipalities, including Okotoks, said lingering questions about radio coverage and responding to rural addresses still haven’t been answered.

“The commission is seeking assurances that the service provided after Oct. 29 is as good as they receive today, and we haven’t got that yet,” he said.

Curtis Brochu, manager of Calgary’s public safety communications centre, said the service has had a long track record of responding to rural calls providing coverage to the municipal district of Rocky View, and Foothills will be no different.

“We’ve been dealing with rural areas for years and we will be able to give them the assurances they require,” he said.

But Stegmeier said FREMS will still seek assurances from AHS or push for a delay in the transition or look at “alternative actions.”