Airdrie's Fire Department will receive nearly $50,000 in funding from the province as part of the province's additional funding to Medical First Responder (MFR) agencies.

According to the province, $7,213 has been allocated for training and equipment, which includes the purchase of eight infrared temporal artery thermometers and a training mannequin, while the bulk of the funding, $40,249 will go to direct financial support. 

Last week, the province announced that the MFR program's funding will be increased by $3.75 million this year along with an expansion of the program to include medium and large MFR agencies across Alberta, including fire departments, urban, remote and rural municipalities and Indigenous communities participating in the MFR Program.

More than 200 MFR partner agencies across Alberta will receive targeted funding for emergency medical services (EMS).

"This investment will move forward efforts to enhance health care services for Albertans and will help address the diverse needs and challenges of Alberta’s remote, rural and Indigenous communities," the province stated.

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health said that investing in MFR agencies will help to make sure they have the tools and training they need to provide timely and life-saving emergency care when and where it’s needed.

“Medical first responders are unsung heroes and often the first on the scene of an emergency, particularly in remote areas where access to immediate care is limited. Their swift intervention can mean the difference between life and death while waiting for EMS services."

According to the province, the financial supports offered consider two main streams. The first stream builds on the successes from previous years of the MFR Program and will be provided for various supplies and services, including purchasing modern automated external defibrillators (AED), medical kits, CPR mannequins, instructor development and front-line responder training courses.

The second stream of funding introduced this year totals $2.5 million and will directly support MFR agencies to offset some of the growing costs involved with providing MFR, including increased event volumes, population growth and general inflation of equipment and fuel.

Murray Crawford, Interim Provincial Director, of Alberta Health Services underlined AHS's commitment to working with their MFR front-line partners and their fire departments to ensure residents have access to high-quality emergency services when and where they need it.

“This additional funding will help ensure our MFR partners are trained and equipped to provide patient care during 911 medical emergencies, increasing the quality of care for patients.”

Other MFR regional and local partner agencies include the Beiseker Fire Department, the Calgary Fire Department, and the Crossfield Fire Department, among others.

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