Who does AHS contract Ground Ambulance services to? I thought all ambulances in Alberta were part of AHS.

    EMS in the province of Alberta has a long and successful history of using a blended model of health authority services and contracted providers.  Currently, Ground Ambulance service in Alberta is provided by a number different organizations including Non-Profit, Private, First Nations, Fire and Municipal.

    When do ground ambulance contracts start expiring?

    Ground Ambulance services start expiring in November 2020.

    What if the current provider in my community decides not to extend? Could my community potentially be left without ambulance services?

    There will be no interruption of ambulance services. AHS will work identify alternate service delivery options and with contractors who would not like to extend their agreement.

    How long will extensions be for? Are these long term agreements?

    Extensions will be offered until Fall 2022.

    What are the types of ambulance services?

    There are two different types of ambulances (Advanced and Basic) in the province of Alberta as defined under the Emergency Health Services Act (EHSA). Each type of ambulance has a defined scope of practice for the type of care they provide.

    How is the level of serivce decided in each community?

    The level of service of service in each community was established prior to AHS assuming responsibility for EMS in 2009 at the municipal level. AHS monitors and evaluates appropriateness of level of service based on a variety of variables including population, call volume, call type, unit utilization, and more.

    Who controls the ambulances?

    AHS operates EMS on the principle of a borderless system. Ambulances are centrally dispatched by AHS owned and operated dispatch centers located in Peace River, Edmonton, and Calgary. Municipal “Satellite” dispatch centers in Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Calgary, and Lethbridge also support dispatching in their respective communities.

    Who pays for EMS?

    EMS revenue is partially funded by fee for service to the users of the system. Rates for these fees are charge in accordance with Emergency Health Services Act (EHSA) and all applicable regulations. The remainder of the cost for EMS is funded directly through performance based agreements by AHS.

    How does AHS ensure contracted providers are providing equitable services?

    All EMS contractors are required to participate in a contract management program directly overseen by AHS EMS. This program actively works with contracted partners to ensure services are equitable, sustainable, and operated in a fiscally responsible manner.

    How does AHS ensure the same standard of care?

    AHS has performance based agreements that have requirements for adherence to a standard set of medical protocols and quality management system. These standards and procedures are continuously improved. Both contracted and health authority EMS practitioners follow these standards and are closely monitored for compliance.  Additionally the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) provides governance and licensure to the Paramedicine profession in the province of Alberta.