There's a meeting in Okotoks this evening about keeping rural ambulances available for local emergencies and the high risks surrounding the current system.

A group of concerned citizens involved in local emergency services has been working to raise awareness.

One Black Diamond resident, Theresia Berry, works as a paramedic in Okotoks and has voiced some worries as a concerned citizen.

"My concern as a citizen is that my family lives in the rural area in Black Diamond, and maybe I'll need an ambulance in a timely fashion one day, and I won't have it."

She explains that just because we have local ambulances, it doesn't always mean that they're available for rural calls, since they have been known to be called into Calgary.

Berry explains that ambulance availability and quick response times to emergencies in rural communities could make the difference for someone whose life hangs in the balance.

They're hoping to raise awareness surrounding these risks with the goal of forming a Citizen's Action Group in an effort to keep local emergency ambulances in their home communities.

The meeting is at the Elks Club tonight (Aug. 11) at 6 p.m.

They have two more public town hall meetings scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Strathmore Legion on Aug. 12 and the Airdrie Legion on Aug. 13.

Topics of discussion include the following.

- Rural ambulances should remain in their home communities.
- Rural ambulances should not be doing calls in Calgary, except in very rare circumstances.
- Rural ambulances should not be out of service doing non-emergency transfers from other districts.
- Rural ambulances should not be sitting and waiting with patients in any hospital ER hallway.


Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email