Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman (centre) has announced Sylvan Lake will be one of eight communities in the province to receive four additional paramedics. Photo Submitted

Four new paramedics for Sylvan Lake

The provincial government announced Sylvan Lake will see an increase of four new EMS staff

Sylvan Lake will be adding four new paramedics to its rosters, the province has announced.

The increase is part of the Provincial Government’s $29-million increase for EMS, in the 2018 Budget, according to a press release.

Alberta Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman says emergency services, such as EMS are important to Albertans, which is why the government increased the budget to frontline EMS workers.

“With more ambulances on the road and more paramedics ready to respond, Albertans will have improved access to emergency medical care when it matters,” Hoffman said.

Sylvan Lake is one of eight municipalities increasing paramedic staff.

Along with the Town of Sylvan Lake, Edmonton, Calgary Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, Vilna, St. Paul and Westlock will see an increase to EMS staffing due to the budget increase.

The province will see an a total of 90 new paramedics working.

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services, says patient care is what drives all decision making in health care.

“This targeted spending provides additional support where we need it most both rurally and in our metro operations, and improves our ability to continue to respond to patients whenever and wherever they have an emergency,” said Dr. Yiu.

Sylvan Lake, as well as the communities in Vilna, St. Paul and Westlock will also received expanded ambulance hours for five vehicles.

According to the announcement, these five ambulances will be increased to a 24/7 coverage for the four communities.

Previously, the Community Paramedic Program was expanded in February 2018 to provide further care to “seniors and vulnerable Albertans” in their homes. The government invested $11 million in the expansion to include Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Camrose, Grande Prairie, Peace River, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

“Albertans want to know that they and their loved ones will be taken care of if they face a medical emergency,” said Hoffman.

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