Dispatch

Since the consolidation of health services in Alberta, 911 dispatch in the Foothills has seen some issues over the past two years.

The Foothills Regional Emergency Services Commission (FRESC) is working on sending letters to Premier Alison Redford and the Minister of Health and Wellness, Fred Horne, to address the issues.

Letters of support have been sent to 26 municipalities in the area, which the commission hopes will be signed and sent as a package to have a bigger impact

FRESC Vice Chairman and Foothills M.D councillor Suzanne Oel says the commission's goal is to achieve the best service possible for residents.

"This effort is part of engaging and informing," says Oel. "It's a complex issue. We want to inform all the people that are involved in decision making in a professional manner. The desire is to have the plan for the EMS dispatch consolidation by the province reevaluated to ensure the needs of all our citizens are being met."

911 calls made throughout the Foothills are currently routed to the FRESC-owned Foothills Regional 911 dispatch centre at Oilfields Hospital in Black Diamond.

The calls are then forwarded to an Alberta Health Services dispatch centre in Calgary for ambulance and to the RCMP for police support.

Oel says FRESC's dispatch centre will often stay on the line with the Calgary dispatch centre to give better directions.

"We certainly do understand out area the best and we have personal experience and knowledge of rural addressing."

Oel says the letters will be sent out sometime in March.

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