It’s an Emergencyalt

From left are Municipal District of Willow Creek Deputy Fire Chief Kelly Starling, Reeve Earl Hemmaway, and Fire Chief Travis Coleman in front of one of three $135,000 response units the M.D. has stationed at different fire halls in the municipality. The province has declined to license any of them as ambulances, Coleman said. For full story please see page two of this week's paper. Photo by Lawrence Gleason
 
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Reeve, M.D. fire chiefs say lives at risk with new ambulance dispatch

By Lawrence Gleason

Local Press Writer

 
The new ambulance service dispatch system serving the region is not working, said Travis Coleman, fire chief of the Municipal District of Willow Creek. 
“It is putting people’s lives at risk,” Coleman said. 
In January of this year the emergency services dispatch centre that serves the Municipal District of Willow Creek, as well as Claresholm, Nanton, Fort Macleod, and 22 other municipalities, had its responsibility for ambulance dispatch services taken away. 
Ambulance dispatch service for Southern Alberta has been directed from Calgary since January. 
The Foothills Regional Emergency Services Commission (FRESC) still dispatches for fire calls, but not for ambulance calls. 
“FRESC still does dispatch for fire calls,” said Coleman. “From 2009 FRESC dispatched fire and EMS together. That is the system we like.”
Now if an ambulance is required FRESC sends the call to Calgary, with FRESC no longer a part of that dispatch call. 

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