April 27, 2015
ST. PAUL — Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will be provided in the St. Paul area by Prairie EMS effective May 1, Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced today.
Residents of St. Paul and the surrounding area will continue to receive the same high level of patient care and service by the new provider, says Rob Barone, executive director for EMS clinical operations in AHS North Zone.
“We are excited to be working with Prairie EMS to provide service in the St. Paul area,” says Barone. “Throughout the transition process, our team of experts weighed each option carefully and, ultimately, this was the clearest choice.”
St. Paul will continue to have three ambulances; however, the number of ambulances providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) — the highest level of ground pre-hospital care — will increase from one to two.
A non-ambulance transport (NAT) vehicle will be added to transfer medically stable patients between health care facilities, which will ensure ambulances are readily available in the community for emergency responses.
“Residents should feel secure in knowing that this new contract is going to provide them with the best emergency care available,” Barone says.
The St. Paul and District Ambulance Society approached AHS last year about ending its contract to provide EMS service. Since then, AHS has had a team with extensive EMS transition experience working on finding the best delivery model for the area.
Prairie EMS was contracted to provide the service following consultation with the St. Paul and District Ambulance Society and other community stakeholders.
Prairie EMS, a subsidiary of Medavie EMS, has been providing services in Alberta for more than two decades and currently serves the communities of Elk Point, Fort Saskatchewan, Two Hills, Lamont, Andrew and Vermilion.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand care for the people and communities of northern, east and central Alberta and continue the tradition of outstanding service and compassionate care established by Prairie EMS,” says Medavie EMS President Erik Sande.
“We look forward to leveraging from our experience, resources and management/administrative personnel to implement safe, high-quality and on-time operations for our patients.”
Current St. Paul ambulance staff are meeting with Prairie EMS to discuss the new model, available positions and the hiring process.
“Although it’s been a difficult decision for our board to make, we’d like to thank AHS for working with us and our staff during this transition and we look forward to seeing Prairie EMS in action throughout the St. Paul region,” says Cliff Martin, Board Chair for the St. Paul and District Ambulance Society.
AHS thanks the society and its staff for the years of service provided to the community.
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