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AHS EMS Dispatch receives international accreditation

January 26, 2017

AHS EMS Dispatch receives international accreditation

250 AHS EMS communications officers support more than 1,000 calls every day.

Story by Francis Silvaggio

Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency Medical Dispatch system has been recognized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) as an Accredited Centre of Excellence (ACE).

Recognition as a medical ACE service is one of the highest achievements in the medical dispatch community and is an acknowledgment of the skill and dedication demonstrated by the nearly 250 EMS dispatch professionals who serve as a life line to more than a thousand Albertans who call for help every day.

“This achievement honors the outstanding work that our emergency communications officers (ECO) and leadership staff perform every day in delivering high quality care to Albertans,” says Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck.

AHS EMS operates a centralized dispatch model with three main communications centres in Calgary, Edmonton and Peace River as well as three satellite facilities in Lethbridge, Red Deer and Fort McMurray. All facilities work seamlessly together, using clinically proven medical protocols, along with some of the latest communication and mapping technology, to ensure patients receive the right help, in the right place, at the right time.

“This accreditation reflects that AHS EMS dispatch services consistently perform to the highest internationally recognized standards,” says Sandbeck. “We are very proud that this recognition places our dispatch operations amongst the highest performing systems in the world.”

This accreditation opens up new opportunities to further improve the AHS EMS dispatch model by providing additional decision making tools for ECOs. The end result is more support for both front line EMS crews as well as patients across the province.