(Black Press file photo).

City of Wetaskiwin expresses concern over provincial dispatch error

An ambulance needed in Wetaskiwin was accidentally dispatched to a similar Leduc address.

City of Wetaskiwin is expressing concern over a provincial dispatch error after an emergency call originated from Wetaskiwin resulted in an ambulance being sent to a similar address in Leduc.

On Wednesday Jan. 27, 2021 a serious 9-1-1 call was placed requesting an ambulance to a Wetaskiwin-based location. The call was taken by the province’s Central Communications Centre located in Edmonton, who then mistakenly mobilized an ambulance to a similar address in the City of Leduc instead of the City of Wetaskiwin.

When the ambulance arrived on scene in Leduc the attending medical staff discovered there was no patient and had to confirm the address with central dispatch.

An ambulance was then immediately sent to the correct address in the City of Wetaskiwin, arriving 10 minutes after the original call was placed.

“The safety and protection of our residents is an uncompromisable priority,” said City of Wetaskiwin Mayor, Tyler Gandam. “We are actively working with the City of Red Deer, Red Deer dispatch, Alberta Health Services dispatch, and the City of Leduc to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

This dispatching error took place shortly after the Province began consolidating Alberta’s EMS dispatch services earlier this year. Many municipalities remain concerned that this consolidation will result in hampered communication and slower response times—increasing the risk that Albertans in need of emergency medical assistance may not receive it until it is too late.

The City of Wetaskiwin has follow up meetings planned with the agencies involved to ensure that an integrated, coordinated system with built-in checks and balances is firmly put in place in order to mitigate any potential future issues.


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