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GPFD asking for more AHS resources to support EMS demands

Grande Prairie Fire Department officials have urged the city to request more provincial funding to help with extended wait times for EMS crews reaching first response scenes.

Grande Prairie Fire Chief Preben Bossen suggests data shows wait times for EMS to arrive on various scene continues to grow, which puts fire crews in a difficult position, as their attention must be split between their primary function and the duties taken care of by other personnel.

According to a report delivered to members of the Public and Protective Services Committee, the GPFD remains on the scene longer while providing primary care awaiting EMS arrival. In the past two years, the average EMS ambulance wait time in a First Response situation has increased from 6 ½ to 11 ½ minutes, an 80% increase.

“We are now seeing a trend where the fire department is being relied on more often for EMS delivery, and this relies on is starting to impact the areas of their services,” says Bossen

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Bossen adds they have been able to manage but adds that it’s getting to a critical point where it impacts services if they don’t see a correction from EMS. He explained that for years they had some capacity to support EMS in delivering their services, but over time, that has been taking a toll on their department.

“We are really hoping for the city to reach out to the province and make sure that AHS resource the EMS services to be able to support demands.”

According to the fire department, EMS relying on them impacts their operations and adds pressure on their ability to meet their goals, including the extended time they spend providing primary patients with care.

The committee voted to carry the motion to the council for consideration.

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