June 7, 2018 7:41 pm

Retired paramedic reiterates concerns over shortage of first responders in rural Alberta

Mon, Jan 19 : Alberta Health Services says response times have remained stable across the province since AHS took over EMS from the cities in 2009, but some don’t agree with this, and are sounding the alarm. Heather Yourex brings us this special report.

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Citing concerns about the safety of residents across the province, a retired paramedic reiterated a question he’s asked many times before: is there a critical shortage of first responders in rural Alberta?

CODE RED: Veteran Alberta paramedic blogs about EMS

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During a lunchtime session held at the Royal Canadian Legion, George Porter presented his thoughts to an audience, claiming that shortages exist, and he said he wishes Alberta Health Services would pay more attention to it.

READ MORE: Code Red Part 1: Paramedics warn of lengthening response times 

“There’s a lack of adequate coverage,” Porter said, “primarily in rural areas.”

CODE RED: AHS responds to paramedics’ concerns

After lobbying for more than nine years for a better answer to extended wait times in rural areas, Porter says there has still been no action taken on the subject, even though there are, what he calls simple solutions.

FEATURE: Code Red – A Global Alberta Special Report

“There’s no strong leadership in EMS,” Porter said.

“Whether their hands are tied or they’re afraid, I don’t know. But we need someone to stand up for EMS and fix it. It’s not a hard fix.”

Watch below: Global News’ Code Red series

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