AHS statement on EMS dispatch in Wood Buffalo

February 11, 2021

EDMONTON - Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health have filed a joint application for an injunction to the Court of Queen's Bench, asking the court to prevent the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo from not transferring 911 calls to AHS EMS Dispatch.

This is not a step we take lightly, however it is necessary to ensure ambulances continue to be dispatched appropriately, and that patient care is not put at risk.

We are concerned that the municipality’s decision to no longer transfer 911 calls could adversely affect patient care.

The municipality’s actions have removed EMS dispatch in the RMWB from the provincial system and created an outlier in this municipality. Following this move, AHS cannot guarantee patients will get timely, appropriate EMS care.

As we have already stated, the municipality has not provided any evidence to AHS to suggest that the recent consolidation of EMS dispatch has led to any delays or inappropriate responses. In addition, the municipality has not provided any information that would back up their public claims that they need to intervene in specific EMS calls due to integration of dispatch.

AHS has looked into every event that has been raised to date, and there have been no issues or intervention required by the municipality.

No information has been brought forward to show that dispatch consolidation has resulted in any adverse events, response delays or negative outcomes. Quite the opposite in fact – since consolidation first occurred over a decade ago, AHS EMS has successfully and safely dispatched over half a million calls each year.