AHS EMS Dispatch System

Creating One Provincial EMS Dispatch System

During a medical emergency, you expect help will arrive as quickly as possible.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is proposing a new collaborative model for EMS dispatch to ensure all patients have access to the closest ambulance in an emergency. Under the collaborative provincial dispatch system, AHS would delegate authority to three municipalities – Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, City of Red Deer and City of Lethbridge – to dispatch EMS services, along with the other emergency services they currently dispatch (such as fire and police).

AHS would remain responsible for oversight of quality, standards and data, as well as the coordination of inter-facility transfer services for the entire province.

EMS calls would go to the nearest dispatch centre; every dispatcher would be able to see the location of every ambulance in the province, and assign the closest available unit, regardless of current municipal or geographic boundaries.

The collaborative model means better service for all Albertans. Benefits include:

  • The closest available ambulance can respond in every emergency.
  • Status and location of ambulances are available in real time to all dispatch centres.
  • AHS provides common technology and training for every dispatch centre, allowing centres to operate under one system.
  • The three municipalities would dispatch fire and EMS services using the same staff in the same facility.
  • Immediate data capture by AHS to ensure consistent reporting across the province.
  • Additional backup protection in case one dispatch centre experiences increased workload, or a service outage.
  • Performance meets accreditation standards.
  • Ongoing training in emergency medical dispatch.

Revised Model

The revised model would see six dispatch centres working as one:

Two central AHS-operated dispatch centres:

  • Edmonton
  • Calgary

Four satellite dispatch centres:

  • Peace River (AHS operated)
  • Fort McMurray (run by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo)
  • Red Deer (run by the City of Red Deer)
  • Lethbridge (run by the City of Lethbridge)