Edmonton, Calgary experiencing strain on emergency services in part due to heat wave: AHS

Alberta’s two largest cities are both experiencing “extremely high demand” for emergency services, in part due to the province’s heat wave.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said EMS is seeing “extremely high demand in Edmonton and Calgary.” AHS attributed the influx to heat-related calls, emergency calls related to people participating in outdoor activities and drug and alcohol-related calls.

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On July 1, EMS in Edmonton and Calgary each responded to 28 heat-related calls, according to the province’s health authority. It was a significant increase from June 25, when AHS reported EMS responded to seven heat-related calls total in the two cities.

According to the AHS website, the busiest wait times for emergency departments in the province on Sunday morning included more than three hours at both the Misericordia Community Hospital and Northeast Community Heath Centre in Edmonton and Sheldon M. Chumir Centre in Calgary. There was a nearly six-hour wait at the WestView Health Centre in Stony Plain at 10 a.m.

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Read more: Edmonton fire crews respond to calls of people, animals locked in vehicles during heat wave

AHS told Global News in a statement that “EMS has brought on additional staff and ambulances, us deploying supervisors and delaying some non-urgent transfers.”

“For example, in Edmonton EMS operated seven additional ambulances on Thursday night, and our partners were also able to bring in three additional ambulances to support the high call volume,” AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson said.

“Anyone who needs EMS care will receive it. We are ensuring that the most critical patients are prioritized for receiving immediate care,” Williamson said.

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