The International Association of Firefighters Local 237 says the EMS dispatch model is broken. Over the weekend, the union took to Twitter to express some of that frustration, saying there were situations where no physical ambulance was able to respond. Lethbridge Fire Chief, Greg Adair, says AHS released a new program last year which will hopefully take the pressure off of emergency services.
“Non-ambulance transfer program. It’s the NAT program. And what that will do is that will free up some of the ambulance and paramedics and those resources so they don’t have to do return transfers of patients who do not require medical assistance. All they require is an actual resource to drive them from either the hospital back to their health care facility, hospital to appointment. So this is a really good initiative because that will help take that pressure off the EMS or help relieve that pressure within the EMS system so that more ambulances are available,” said Greg Adair, Fire Chief, Lethbridge Fire & Emergency Services.
The province says EMS dispatch was centralized to save taxpayers around six million dollars annually.