Since the beginning of 2022 and October 1 of this year, Airdrie ambulances have been shut down nearly every day for an average of 11 hours (an entire shift for a paramedic). According to documents obtained by Discover Airdrie via The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the FOIP Act), the 201 shutdowns in the first 273 days of this year have meant that Airdrie ambulances have been shut down for 2390.5 hours.
Documents from Discover Airdrie's FOIP request also (2022-G-359) detail how often Airdrie ambulances are responding to Calgary since the inception of the Metro Response Plan, which was aimed to keep suburban and rural ambulances in their communities, rather than funnelling those resources into larger metro areas.
While Airdrie ambulances did respond to Calgary less in February 2022, after the implementation of the Metro Response Plan, in comparing statistics with the previous month, Airdrie EMS responses inside Airdrie increased by only one call from month to month. By March, there was an increase of 51 more calls being responded to by Airdrie ambulances from the month previous - this was the single largest increase of Airdrie ambulances responded to inside the city this year. Between April and May 2022, the trend dropped off and stagnated.
Though Airdrie ambulances have been in Airdrie more in 2022, the average response time for a 9-1-1 event to be responded to by Airdrie ambulance crews is approximately 30 minutes. This response time averages all 9-1-1 events from Alpha to Echo, as well as interfacility transfers. The data also shows the unit destination interval in Airdrie is approximately 100 minutes, though this may be because more serious 9-1-1 events require ambulance crews to transport to Calgary.
In January 2022, prior to the Metro Response plan being implemented, Airdrie's total call volume of all calls, both 9-1-1 events and IFT events was 1095 calls. Of those calls, Airdrie EMS both responded to and was on the scene 220 times in Calgary, averaging a 29-minute response time. Conversely, there were 155 responses to Airdrie from a total of 258 calls. At that point, the average response time for an Airdrie EMS crew to an Airdrie event was approximately 42 minutes.
By February, Airdrie EMS responded to 109 calls in Calgary, while they responded to 156 calls in Airdrie. Though the number of responses in Airdrie was more than in Calgary, the response time only improved by a minute or so, still averaging 39 minutes, with a 9-1-1 Bravo event call in Airdrie being the longest that was responded to that month; 88 minutes. While the Bravo event was the longest response time, a 9-1-1 Delta event in Airdrie took 86 minutes to respond to in February. Airdrie EMS response times in Calgary were over an hour in February.
In March 2022, Airdrie EMS continued to respond more inside Airdrie, with 207 calls being responded to in Calgary 91 calls. However, the average response time for Airdrie EMS to respond within the city was nearly over 100 minutes; though this may be due to IFT calls, one of which took 5.6 hours to respond to. Airdrie EMS response times in Calgary, however, decreased slightly to just over 50 minutes.
In April, while Airdrie EMS continued to take slightly more calls in Airdrie in comparison to Calgary, response times doubled in comparison to the last month, with Airdrie seeing an average of a 3.27-hour response time to Calgary's 85-minute response time. Both of the longest responses inside Airdrie and Calgary were for an Alpha response, taking approximately 2.2 hours to respond inside Calgary and nearly an hour in Airdrie. Though May and June once again saw Airdrie ambulances responding more inside Airdrie, response times averaged over an hour inside Airdrie, while Calgary response times by Airdrie EMS were nearing 3 and a half hours.
Data also shows that while Airdrie is responding less inside the Calgary metro zone, there were 576 responses to other areas in the province, some as close as Balzac and Beiseker, while others were as far as Red Deer. In one instance, a 9-1-1 Delta event that occurred in KneeHill County was responded to by Airdrie EMS. That response time was nearly three hours, with another 80 minutes to get to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.
When it comes to overtime, data in the FOIP documents show that Airdrie paramedics incurred a total of 33 instances of shifts that were over 14 hours, totalling 79.5 hours of late trips.
In 2022, Airdrie ambulances responded to Calgary events 869 events between January 1st and September 1 of this year, which averages to approximately 3.57 trips to Calgary a day. On average, response to those trips can last upwards of 70 minutes, not including offload delays.
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