Reviewing New AHS Policy

On Christmas Eve last year I read an article on the Edmonton Journal website. The article, written by Edmonton Journal’s Elise Stolte, spoke of a memo sent out by AHS. The memo was to all Edmonton paramedics, urging them to slow down. Now this memo banned paramedics from speeding and going through red lights. The resulting controversial prompted a response from AHS that the memo needed to be reworked to be better understood what the new policy was for Ambulances and EMS.

Well it’s the beginning of February in the new year. I wanted to take a look at the new policy, how it’s been received by the public now that it’s been around a little while. So I decided to ask someone at Alberta Health Services, if I could. After awhile of phone calls back and forth, I was able to speak with Sue Conroy, Senior Vice President of Emergency Medical Services.

In speaking with Ms. Conroy I have learned the new policy, especially since the initial memo being revised for clarity of intent, has been well received by paramedics and EMS workers.  Also, I had been curious if the new policy crossed over into fire emergency services. It does not.

So as it stands, in situations where time is critical to an emergency call, paramedics are able to judge for themselves whether to speed and how much to accelerate. However there are exceptions to this. Paramedics still may not speed in school zones, construction zones and other specified areas.


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