Tuesday, March 31, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 13 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“I jumped at the opportunity.
I look on it as a real gift.
For me it’s just
a personal dream.”

- Lynne Cox  
- new Confidential Secretary   
for the municipality   


On Wednesday, April 1, the province will officially take control of ambulance services in Alberta –– and far from being an April Fools Day joke, it’s a change that local EMS is looking at in a positive light.
Troy Linderman, owner and operator of Crowsnest Pass EMS, says that he has now signed a two-year contract with Alberta Health Services to provide ambulance service in the Crowsnest Pass. He has also signed a two-year collective agreement with the Health Sciences Association, giving local EMS parity of wages and benefits with other services in Alberta and allowing them to retain staff more easily.
The official transition on April 1 will mean some changes to ambulance service, but on the whole Linderman says that the level of service should remain as high as it has been in the past.
“I’m still fairly positive about this,” says Linderman. “I think we can build a really good system. This is going to stabalize EMS in rural Alberta.”
Local EMS will now run two ambulances full time in the Pass, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
They will retain the same staff, including three full-time paramedics. Linderman himself will step down from a response position unless he is needed, and will primarily hold a management roll under the new contract.
One of the biggest changes under the new system, says Linderman, is the removal of borders for ambulance services. Whichever ambulance is closest to a situation will go, with no arbitrary lines on a map restricting their operations.
This means that Crowsnest ambulances could be called upon to support other communities, but also that ambulances from other communities could assist in the Pass if needed.
EMS will continue to bill patients directly for their services, but seniors are automatically covered through Alberta Blue Cross. Linderman encourages every individual to have benefits or insurance of some type to cover the cost of ambulance responses.
Linderman sees two primary challenges involved in the transition –– dispatching and patient transfers.
... For the full story, see the March 31 issue of the Pass Herald
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   Volume 79 - Issue 13 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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