Airdrie Fire Chief Mike Pirie has been elected for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Standing Committee as the representative for the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association. 

According to Pirie, the committee was put together by the provincial government, as an outcome of some previous work in 2022.

"This is to help the government (and Alberta Health Services) become informed about how to create good EMS policy and how it will affect our communities."

As the representative for the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association, Pirie will be working alongside side Red Deer Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Pelkey.

"My goal is going to be to help improve the state of EMS and to deliver the quality of care that should be delivered to the people who live in this province. 

In 2023, nearly 50 percent of Airdrie Fire Department callouts were medical calls.

While it might take some time to get the EMS system where it needs, Pirie stated they are going to look at every little aspect. Making sure they are all up to par to make sure everything is running smoothly.

"We need to talk about things like dispatching procedure, we've talked about staffing, we need to make sure that the EMS resources are being used appropriately by the public so that their availability can go up."

Pirie stated he isn't worried about the call volume that AFD receives when it comes to medical calls, it's more so that EMS can get there in an appropriate amount of time to take over if needed.

"If you're on scene for 15 to 20 minutes, and you're doing that on a consistent basis, you're not doing medical first response anymore, you're taking over, you're doing a role you shouldn't be doing and you don't need to be doing." 

In the later part of 2022 and early part of 2023, Pirie stated response times from EMS did drop below the 10-minute mark in some cases, this just needs to be an all-time thing.

"I'm excited by this. I've never seen this type of commitment to EMS and that makes me hopeful."

The first meeting of the committee will be at the end of this month.

To see who else is a part of the committee, click HERE.

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