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Regionalization in Alberta

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  • Regionalization in Alberta

    For all of you working with an Integrated Fire/EMS organization I was just wondering what the latest word was on the regionalization of ground ambulance take over by the health regions. The last information I heard is that Airdrie said NO WAY. I was just wondering as to what some of the other depts were thinking? As I haven't heard of Cochrane or Leduc, Strathcona etc. Another big one is Lethbridge. The only dept that I have heard of that is definately not splitting is Ft. Mac as they are the only service in that area, besides the plant sites( Suncor and Syncrude) but they don't fall under the plan. Any more info would be greatly appreciated as this was my long term plan to be a Firefighter/Paramedic in the future but it looks like that my not be an option.
    Dave Burn
    (EMT-P Student)
    Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

  • #2
    Your going to have to choose one or the other Burnsy! I wont speak for individual municipalities in this area but they are putting up a struggle. Futile more than likely. Look on the bright side - things may change again in another 50 years
    -I have learned people will forget what you said,
    -People will forget what you did,
    -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

    Comment


    • #3
      dont wanna , dont haveta, can't make me!!!!

      I know it is going to be futile but one can only hope!!
      Dave Burn
      (EMT-P Student)
      Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey dave did I hear that your current boss wont have the contract renewed by the Health authority? Something about ALS and the word NO! What have ya heard buddy?
        -I have learned people will forget what you said,
        -People will forget what you did,
        -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

        Comment


        • #5
          Latest word is we are optomisticaly looking to remain the same. The only thing that I see ultimatly changeing is that the regional health boards will be administering the present contracts that are in place. The thing that has a lot of folks worried is weather the AB. Govt. is going to put enough money into the system. The best thing we can do as individuals is to lobby our MLA's and hold their feet to the fire until the agree to fund it properly. DO NOT sit back and let them pass this off to the municipalities like they have done with everything else.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not working for a dual agency, but I work in the Calgary area and have exposure of various levels to the service provided by Cochrane, Airdrie, and FREMS (which is another one which will be impacted big time).

            Actually I'm not in the EMS field at all, other than as a first responder. I think ultimately the health regions are going to have to give in and let the various agencies remain as they are now operationally, for the most part, and just fund and administer the services in a regionalized fashion. One thing I heard is that the current idea will do away with any housing/structures that are not 100% health region owned. In other words, all but 4 of the stations in Calgary will have to kick their medics out to the street. What will happen then - base them out of hospitals? Especially in Calgary, THAT will be hard to sell.

            Having said all this, I sympathize with all of the EMS folks who are feeling quite under the gun by all this, but - don't you think a larger version of flexible deployment will benefit everyone in the area in the long run? I'm pretty sure I've heard that 511 and 904 have both covered Calgary halls briefly recently in crunch times. I would imagine the reverse would be just as beneficial, say, if medic 18 was flexed into Airdrie after 57's 3rd call of the day. Granted, I wouldn't want to be the medic who starts his day in Nanton and is flexed bit by bit up to Olds or Strathmore by the end of shift but still... is that one of the problems with this proposal as well?

            Please enlighten this fire guy.
            --jay.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Jay,
              Interesting - actually drove for 901 and wound up staying at 26 stn for an hour. Flexible deployment is a good idea - to a point. I think if the dispatch centres were linked then you could respond the closest car. I know in this area we have ambulances on the hi way all the time from Fort macleod to Calgary - so whats to say if Fort Maleod or even Lethbridge is returning home couldnt do a call in Okotoks or High River.

              Personally I think the entire Province should be under one linked umbrella - with no boundaries - let common sense prevail of course Nanton wont flex (or should I say deploy ) to Brooks but rather local deployment - everyone is still paying for a service and deserves prompt service. So what it in fact boils down to is what the health regions deem a reasonable response time! Have they done that yet - nope! So at the same time those fre services that provide medical first response are now asking when do we go? I know ours is up in the air as council is waiting to see what the health regions response time will be and that way they will dictate to us what the response time will be.

              Has this helped - ha ha ha, didnt think so - jump on board and sail with us into the great unknown! Im sure the government will do whats right! Ha - made a funny and its not even lunch time yet!

              Dave
              -I have learned people will forget what you said,
              -People will forget what you did,
              -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

              Comment


              • #8
                Jay911, I don't think the health regions have a choice but to honor the existing contracts as they stand. Don't think they want to get into any lawsuites that may come their way from the regional ambulance boards that have contracts with private providers. Also in the same vein what about the municipalities that have promised a certain level of service to the taxpayers, this was a municiple election platform for many towns and cities.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rumors... - fire

                  Can anyone dispell a rumor regarding those fire departments which are not regulated by a municipality? (ie rural fire boards who own thier own equipment) I've heard that they may fall into this handover through some loophole.

                  County based systems such as the one in Rockyview seem to be pretty well defined, and should be clearly out of scope, however the model in Wheatland county is a bit different. Rural fire departments, while funded by the county are administered by a variety of associations, and not-for-profit organizations. Some of these organizations have first responders for medical aid in remote locations.

                  It is just a rumor, and I don't have additional information. Just thought I'd put it out there.

                  Thanks.

                  Randy Adams
                  Firefighter
                  SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

                  *~-|EGH|FTM|-~*

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rumors... - fire

                    Originally posted by rualfire
                    Can anyone dispell a rumor regarding those fire departments which are not regulated by a municipality? (ie rural fire boards who own thier own equipment) I've heard that they may fall into this handover through some loophole.

                    County based systems such as the one in Rockyview seem to be pretty well defined, and should be clearly out of scope, however the model in Wheatland county is a bit different. Rural fire departments, while funded by the county are administered by a variety of associations, and not-for-profit organizations. Some of these organizations have first responders for medical aid in remote locations.

                    It is just a rumor, and I don't have additional information. Just thought I'd put it out there.

                    Thanks.

                    Randy Adams
                    Firefighter
                    I'm not sure what your concern is, but if it's about maintaining first responder services, as I understand it, the intent is to keep them - so long as the health regions don't have to fund them. That's the gist I got from an 'update memo' I've seen.

                    Whether that means that first response will be done out of the goodness of everyone's hearts, or remain as it is, or be done for only D and E responses (instead of the A/B/C/D/E responses a lot of MD44 departments are doing now), remains to be seen...
                    --jay.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The lateest I have heard is that the region offered our service a contract but it was declined due to the timeline for upgrading to ALS. In reply to Dave404 I think it would be a good idea if we were all under one umbrella and covered each others area with the closest available unit. In regards to the response time issue the region told our council that we will still have 2 units in our area and they will endeavor to keep response times within 8 to 15 min. As far as the first response goes I think you will see call volumes for those rural fire depts go up.

                      Dave is it true you had to stop and cover STN 26 for an hour? that is the first I heard of that.

                      I have also heard another rumor recently that all of the EMS dispatching is going to be done in the new TRI-Service centre in Calgary. So we will have to see what happens there, that should prove interesting.
                      Dave Burn
                      (EMT-P Student)
                      Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, as one of the folks with a very close interest in the new center (hint: I'm not EMS - look at my avatar and location line, and do the math ) - I can tell you what I have gleaned about the central dispatch concept. Just remember this is one person's experiences and opinions, and has nothing to do with any official statements.

                        The tri-services communications project (public safety communications center, multi-services center, or whatever you want to call it) is progressing. Those of us in the participating agencies are seeing movement and signs of life, but I'm nowhere near close enough to it to give any definitive play-by-play.

                        I am one of the people who believe that an amalgamated Fire/EMS dispatch makes sense on so many levels. I don't want to alienate myself from any of my EMS colleagues, and I'm not saying that they don't do a good job, or that Fire could do it any better. I just think that the dispatch operations are so similar in nature and delivery that it makes perfect sense to combine them into one unit.

                        (I still don't think that police will be dispatched by the same person - the same warm body - as the Fire/EMS dispatcher. There's just too much variance in what is needed to be taken in a call - what if you get a motor vehicle accident with entrapment and injury, and one of the drivers fled the scene - what agency's hat do you put on first?)

                        Anyway, as an individual, and a first responder, I think it makes sense for all units in a regionalized, mutually supportive system like we all believe the HRs are going to develop, to be dispatched by the same organization. Forgive me, all the dispatchers in all the other areas, but I can't see a benefit, logistically speaking, to having the dispatching of one group of units spread out over a number of different dispatch centers.
                        --jay.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          centralized vs regionalized dispatch

                          As someone who has experience responding to calls dispatched by both an integrated, central E911 center and a regional dispatch center (I won't mention here which ones), I can attest to the superior quality of a dedicated dispatch organization.



                          It has been my experience that the centralized dispatch center's professional staff are a well trained resource who's calmness when things are heating up on scene is a voice of clarity.

                          My hat is off to the professional dispatcher.

                          I hope that one of the outcomes of all of this is a number of integrated dispatch centers. Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Grand Prarie, Fort McMurray...

                          I re-read this and thought I would add this:

                          I saw multiple dispatch centers, prehaps it makes sense to say a distributed dispatch center. which would be resistant to localized disaster, and could 'flex' to shift high call load from a busy center to a less highly utilized one.

                          i.e. Red Deer might pick up overflow from Edmonton, Lethbridge - Calgary.. etc.

                          I am not an emergency call center expert, but I've seen this concept work in the area of world-wide network operations centers, 'follow the sun' type of staffing model.
                          Last edited by rualfire; 02-21-2005, 10:01 AM.
                          SRFD905 - Serving since 1998

                          *~-|EGH|FTM|-~*

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have found a couple of links to information about the transfer, there is not alot of information there but just incase anyone is interested.
                            http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/gndamb/
                            Last edited by dburnemti; 02-17-2005, 02:30 PM.
                            Dave Burn
                            (EMT-P Student)
                            Effort only fully releases it's reward on someone who refuses to quit!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Interesting stuff - They sure know how to stick handle! Lets see the most common answer - we will have to work these things out! Oh well I think it will be positive change.....eventually!
                              Dave
                              -I have learned people will forget what you said,
                              -People will forget what you did,
                              -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

                              Comment

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