The City of
Lethbridge has received notification from the Alberta Ombudsman, that there
will be no investigation into the consolidation of EMS dispatch, a request that
was jointly submitted by the municipalities of Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer
and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in October, 2021.
"While I have the ability to investigate the decisions of over 600 government-related entities and municipalities, AHS is not one of those entities." writes Marianne Ryan, Alberta Ombudsman. The Ombudsman's Act specifically states that the powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities.
Statement from Mayor Hyggen
"It is extremely disappointing to hear that the Alberta Ombudsman will not be investigating our request around the decision to consolidate EMS dispatch. Community safety is our number one priority and we will continue to advocate for the emergency services our residents deserve.
Since the transition of dispatch to AHS, nearly 1 year ago, regions across Alberta have experienced significant issues, in varying degrees with the service, which has significantly increased the risk to patient care across our province. Here in Lethbridge, our Fire and EMS teams continue to see key dispatch issues such as inaccurate addressing and delayed response times that are not being addressed.
We still believe that a third party review is required to investigate what has happened in the past, what is currently happening today and ensure accountability going forward. We'll be further investigating options that will help us elevate this issue and protect the safety of our residents.