Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services have taken action and launched a new EMS/811 Shared Response to ensure more ambulances and paramedics are available to respond to urgent, life-threatening calls, and that EMS response times are faster. Did you know that in Alberta, up to 20% of 911 calls that come to EMS may not require an immediate ambulance response?

This new collaboration between EMS and Health Link 811 allows for the transfer of EMS callers who EMS assesses as low-acuity (or not experiencing a medical emergency that requires an ambulance) to Health Link 811 nurses for further triage, assessment and care. If at any point it is determined an ambulance is required, one will be dispatched.

Connecting callers to a registered nurse through EMS/811 Shared Response provides more appropriate support for patients while allowing ambulances to remain in the community to respond to life-threatening emergencies. In fact, by transferring non-urgent calls to a registered nurse at Health Link 811, AHS can reduce non-urgent ambulance responses by 40,000 trips each year. That’s 40,000 more times EMS can be free to respond to life-threatening emergencies, directly reducing EMS response times.

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