Lacombe, Red Deer snubbed from new ambulance list

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross continues to advocate for added care in Central Alberta

The Government of Alberta is addressing the lack of ambulance care in the province – just not for Lacombe or Red Deer.

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross said he kind of understood why Lacombe didn’t receive a new unit, considering their current infrastructure only can accommodate two units but he did not understand why Red Deer did not receive any added service other than a further investment in the Community Paramedic program.

“Red Deer has, in my opinion, sufficient infrastructure that would have allowed for an increase in units,” he said. “It is disappointing. Calgary got 10 more, Grand Prairie got one more and Medicine Hat got one more.

“Unfortunately Red Deer has some issues with the opioid crisis and the demands on the Red Deer Regional Hospital are very patient-transfer driven. It is disappointing.”

Earlier this year, Ross made a plea to the Government for more ambulance care in the region to help combat rising wait times for emergency care.

At the time, Ross’s concern was that Lacombe’s two ambulances were being flexed to Red Deer and other regions which too often resulted in longer wait times for Lacombe emergency situations.

“Fifty-three per cent of the calls that Lacombe EMS is responding to — out of a total of 3,345 calls in — are being made to outside of Lacombe,” Ross said in a story on Oct. 2nd, 2018. “Twenty-six per cent of those calls — 880 calls — are specifically in Red Deer.

“That is a real concern of mine that 675 times in 12 months that units (ambulances) are being flexed for service into Lacombe while we are going into Red Deer 880 times.”

READ ALSO: City of Red Deer needs two more ambulances says Lacombe City Councillor

The solution he suggested was that the City of Red Deer receive two more ambulances to cover their region.

Instead, the Province has awarded five new ambulances to Edmonton, 10 to Calgary, one to Grande Prairie, one to Medicine Hat and has expanded hours for Vilna, St. Paul, Westlock and Sylvan Lake.

To clarify, no new ambulances are being brought to Red Deer or Lacombe.

Ross said this current snubbing suggests Lacombe may need to look further into a new fire hall, which would create room for more units as well as solve other community issues regarding emergency services.

“In Lacombe, 25 per cent of our call volume is in Red Deer,” he said. “As a City Councillor, I maybe have to advocate more for different angles and work with Red Deer City Council to advocate more strongly for support.

“Central Alberta, other that the community paramedic program and expanded hours to Sylvan Lake, has been left out. It is discouraging.”

In a release, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said the Province is taking action to strengthen emergency services.

“With more ambulances on the road and more paramedics ready to respond, Albertans will have improved access to emergency medical care when it matters,” she said.

The Lacombe Express has requested further comment from Minster Hoffman. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Lacombe, Red Deer snubbed from new ambulance list

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross continues to advocate for added care in Central Alberta

Central Alberta Woodworkers showcase craft at Lacombe Memorial Centre

Guild is the latest to showcase their work at the LMC’s art exhibit

Man wearing bandanna with knife robs Lacombe Circle K

5’3” white male stole cash, cigarettes early on Dec. 4th

Lacombe Ringette Association hopes to bring pro bull riding to city

Fundraiser during Lacombe Days to help support keeping fees low

VIDEO: Light Up the Night Santa Klaus Parade brings festive joy to Lacombe

The Tim Horton’s Santa Klaus Parade in Lacombe brought thousands to the streets

Hawk Tail Brewery ready to open doors

New Rimbey business to begin operation

Central Alberta Theatre kicks off New Year with Cliffhanger

Performances run Jan. 19th through to Feb. 9th at the Black Knight Inn

Tips for managing diabetes over the Christmas season

Primary Care Network staff presented to the Central Alberta Council on Aging

Team Alberta U16 Male roster announced for 2019 Canada Winter Games

The entire Team Alberta U16 Male roster will meet for Christmas Camp in Red Deer on Dec. 19th-21st

Rebels victorious over Swift Current Broncos

New Forwards Brett Davis and Cameron Hausinger showing lots of confidence on the ice

Nuit Blanche Red Deer looking to make a comeback in 2019

Local organization is hosting a Christmas artisan market on Dec. 15th

‘LETTERKENNY Live, the Encore’ lands at the Enmax Centrium Dec. 15th

Earlier this year, the original tour took over venues across the country

One hundred and five trees of Christmas

Red Deer couple decorated 105 Christmas trees to raise money for the Central Alberta Humane Society

Most Read