Mayors say fight against EMS dispatch consolidation isn’t done after Shandro’s decision

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But Veer said she and the other mayors disagree.

“A borderless system — quote-unquote — might make for a good soundbite,” she said. “But mark my words: It marks the death of the integrated emergency response system that our Alberta was once respected for.”

Four mayors, front row, Tara Veer of Red Deer, back row, left, Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Chris Spearman of Lethbridge, stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during a visit to the provincial government to oppose the centralization of EMS services in Alberta. Submitted
Four mayors, front row, Tara Veer of Red Deer, back row, left, Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Chris Spearman of Lethbridge, stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during a mission to the provincial government to oppose the centralization of EMS in Alberta. Photo by Submitted /Postmedia

AHS and Shandro have both said emergency response times won’t change, and that consolidation won’t disrupt communication between paramedics and firefighters. Fire departments also offer medical first response services, and get to emergency calls first about half the time in Calgary. In his letter, Shandro said he expects the transition will happen “seamlessly” over the coming months.

Calgary city council voted to officially oppose consolidation just three weeks ago, and Nenshi said they also requested historical data on ambulance response times for cities before and after the 2009 consolidation to see if they’d gone down or up.

The city received that data Monday, after Shandro announced consolidation would proceed.

Nenshi said it’s “unclear” whether the city has permission to share it, though he wants to make the data public.

A spokesperson for AHS told Postmedia they’re working on making the information more broadly available, but there’s a large amount of raw data that needs “context and explanation.”

Nenshi also said the province’s chief paramedic, Darren Sandbeck, has accepted an invitation to speak to city council at a meeting next month.

masmith@postmedia.com

Twitter: @meksmith

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