The City of Cold Lake Ambulance service is in need of more funding, personnel and vehicles. On February 10th the City’s Ambulance Society updated Cold Lake council on their status and stressed the fact that they are stretched way too thin.
Along with providing emergency services within the city limits, the ambulance also provides transportation to Edmonton and Bonnyville for patient transfers. Which causing problems with not enough ambulances being available for City needs.
A lot of the issues with lack of enough resources stem from Alberta Health Services taking over dispatching the emergency crews from a central location in Edmonton. This has caused an increase in calls to aid outside of the city. There were even incidents were the city was without an ambulance, code red as it’s referred, for 180 hours in 2014.
The Ambulance Society is looking for more funding to add more personnel and equipment like vehicles on the road. They would also like major issues with the central dispatching to be fixed, in particular for emergency crews to receive pre-alerts. The pre-alert system would notify the emergency crews that a call has come in, that way crews are able to prepare the vehicles and personnel so there is little-to-no down time after a call comes in.
The Society plans to continue to lobby for for funding and hope the problems with the central dispatching will be noticed and amended to better suit rural communities’ needs.