Healthcare is a function and responsibility of the Provincial government. Decisions around funding for healthcare resources are made at the Provincial level. The City of Airdrie advocates on behalf of residents for the gaps in healthcare needs to be filled and for more resources to be allocated to our community.
Recently the Government of Alberta has allocated:
It’s important to note that planning dollars are not a commitment for a hospital and even with committed construction funding, it takes years to build, staff and open a large healthcare facility.
Letters to your MLA, Cabinet Ministers, and the Premier are a great way to highlight your concerns about healthcare issues.
Here’s a sample letter you can use or feel free to draft your own if you have personal experiences to share (keeping it respectful, factual and concise). Just copy the text, click on the 'Send a letter' link and paste the text into your email.
Copy and paste the text below into your the body of your email.
Alberta is growing. Your government is calling people here. A lot of new and relocating Albertans are choosing Airdrie and we are happy to welcome them into our community, but you have to know how this is impacting us.
Growing quickly is not a new concept for Airdrie. Our city doubled in size in just over a decade. Today at over 80,000 residents, we are the fastest growing city in Alberta.
Airdrie has healthcare resource needs, driven by growth, that the Province must meet.
3+ years is a long time to wait for more healthcare resources.
We appreciate the $3 million to plan for a North Calgary/Airdrie Health Centre but planning dollars are not commitments for new hospitals or healthcare spaces. Our population continues to grow, which will increase pressure on the system every day until new facilities are operational. The need exists now, and it takes time to build.
We’re an urban centre with rural healthcare.
Most of our friends and neighbours are without a family physician. There are no dedicated walk-in clinics and no doctors accepting new patients in Airdrie. Working with a doctor to maintain a healthy lifestyle is next to impossible, because healthcare resources only seem to respond when people are already sick.
Airdrie Urgent Care Centre upgrades will not fill the gap.
For a population of over 80,000 who are at least 30 minutes from the nearest hospital and sometimes, an uncertain EMS wait, AUCC does not adequately meet the healthcare needs of our community.
Our community deserves better. Will you partner with Airdrie to fill the health resource gaps in our city and support the health and wellbeing of our residents?
Providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a responsibility of the provincial government. The Province determines the number of EMS resources dedicated to each community and through Alberta Health Services (AHS), coordinates the system in which EMS resources operate.
Before joining AFD, firefighters must hold a valid Primary Care Paramedic (formerly Emergency Medical Technician) registration with Alberta College of Paramedics.
The cost to provide residents in the City of Airdrie with a guaranteed BLS emergency medical response through AFD is approximately $100,000 per year. This includes medical equipment and supplies as well as, training and professional fees for fire members.
That’s approximately $1.25 per resident annually. The City of Airdrie and Council believe that the provision of this service is essential to ensuring lifesaving emergency medical response is available whenever our residents need it.
These would be medical responses to calls for:
• breathing problems
• unconscious / fainting
• chest pain
• sick person not alert
• cardiac arrest
An EMS delay of 10 minutes or more on an emergent response triggers a request for AFD medical assistance.
2023 indicators show a reduction in emergent calls which might be attributed to more EMS availability within the 10-minute window.
Medical call volume is growing but at the same percent of the total responses for AFD. EMS responses are not increasing out of proportion to other emergency events.
When is AFD first on scene?
The number of times AFD arrived before EMS increased substantially in 2020/2021 and has not significantly changed since. To date in 2023, AFD has been first on scene for 45% of medical response calls.
Average time on scene prior to EMS arrival
The 5:12/5:24 average arrival for EMS after AFD in 2021/2022 was very inconsistent and had considerable variability in actual arrival time.
While the number of events AFD arrives to EMS is still elevated, so far this year, consistency in a 3:24 arrival after AFD is much greater.
Longest wait for EMS arrival (AFD on scene)
The longer AFD waits for EMS arrival, the less availability there is for other calls. Over 20% of medical responses overlap other calls. AFD can only provide immediate lifesaving interventions, a timely EMS system is needed for all parts to function well together.