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Calgary buckling under EMS crisis, Alberta NDP says

A file photo of a Calgary EMS ambulance. A file photo of a Calgary EMS ambulance.
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New data, acquired by the Alberta NDP, suggests the province's EMS crisis is getting worse under the current government, with a lack of ambulances putting Calgarians at severe risk.

The documents, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request initiated by the Opposition, detail the number of "red alerts" in Calgary.

Red alerts are when there are no ambulances available to attend a new emergency.

The NDP says in April 2019, Calgary was averaging 40 red alerts each month. By October 2022, the city was seeing more than 400 each month.

Alberta's NDP leader places the blame for the sharp increase on the UCP government.

"We need real action. There are specific steps that paramedics themselves have been calling for and the UCP have ignored for years," Rachel Notley said in a statement.

She says her party "is committed" to addressing the real issues that face EMS coverage in Alberta by attending to the needs of paramedics and their families and ensuring they are offered fair employment contracts.

She also promised the NDP would launch "the largest health-care recruitment campaign Alberta has ever seen."

"The work of a paramedic is both highly skilled and incredibly difficult. Paramedics attend traumatic events several times a day," said Notley.

"The Alberta NDP will bring real resources to the frontline and we will work respectfully with healthcare professionals."

CTV News has reached out to the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services for a response to the new information.

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