LETHBRIDGE: It's a bright day for emergency services in our
city, as the province has agreed to keep the integrated fire and ambulance
dispatch here in Lethbridge.
Lethbridge West MLA Greg Weadick discusses how they were finally able to
break through, "I can honestly tell you that (Lethbridge East MLA Bridget
Pastoor) and I have been working on this for two years, and I think it was just
a question of sitting down on a continuous basis and working with staff at
Alberta Health Services and with the minister in his office, to come up with a
solution that worked for everyone, and you know what, at the end of the day I
think this is the right solution."
Mayor Chris Spearman was very excited to receive the news, and was quick to
give a great deal of the credit to Weadick and Pastoor.
While this is a significant first step, Spearman did note that there's still
some details that need to be worked out, "We'll need to make sure that we're
using the same systems, I'm sure Alberta Health is going to have some
requirements with respect to training on their system, and you know we're going
to work with them. The real issue is how much we will be compensated for
providing the service that we do."
Spearman explained that Alberta Health probably feels that they're having to
subsidize the service. He stated that not only is he confident that our service
is more efficient than the centralized plan put forward by the province, but
that it also provides the fastest and best quality emergency care possible.
Both Spearman and Weadick expect it to take a few months to work through all
the details and determine compensation.