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NDP speaks out against centralized EMS

September 24, 2020

The NDP is asking the current UCP government to abandon centralized EMS systems in the province. A crucial meeting will be held in Edmonton on Thursday with health minister Tyler Shandro to discuss the future of EMS dispatch in the city.

Lethbridge West MLA, Shannon Phillips voiced her concerns at the Lethbridge Fire Department. "Urge the government and urge all the UCP MLAs to do the right thing...to rise above partisanship and abandon this plan to take ambulance service out of the regional dispatch centres like the one in Lethbridge."

"We feel that we can show and know that patient outcomes will suffer and that our integrated service model will no longer be as successful as it has been in the past," says Deputy Chief of Operations, Kelly L'Hirondelle.

"My concern, and the concern of all of the members of the department are that this is going to ultimately cost citizens their lives. It's jeapordizing the safety of the citizens within this community," adds President of the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Local 237, Warren Nelson.

"This system works. I don't understand why Alberta Health Services is doing what it's doing. Personally, I think every citizen in this town needs to stand up and say no," says Lethbridge resident, Earl Barton.

Mayors of Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo released a statement.

Lethbridge Mayor, Chris Spearman says "My hope is that they now understand the consequences of this decision and the Ministers
will come to the same conclusion as those before them—it does not make sense to remove EMS
dispatch from our communities.”