In August 2020, the Government of Alberta released the Ground Ambulance Regulation. This regulation serves to repeal a number of former EHS legislative pieces: the EHS Regulations (Interim), Licensing and Ambulance Maintenance Regulation, and Staff, Vehicle and Equipment Regulation and move key elements of these documents into one updated regulation.
The College’s regulatory jurisdiction is over regulated members under the Health Professions Act and the Paramedics Profession Regulation; while the Emergency Health Services Act and now this new Ground Ambulance Regulation provide the EHS branch of Alberta Health Services with jurisdiction over the licencing of ambulance operators in this province.
The Ground Ambulance Regulation then is centric to the public care delivery system and therefore specific to AHS employees. This regulation has received a fair amount of media coverage already, and we are acutely aware that it is and will be impacting EMS service providers as AHS works to implement it.
A key piece of this regulation relates to the reclassification of ambulances and the respective staffing requirements. As Alberta Health Services moves to enforce these new regulations, Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) will not be permitted to work on public ambulances now classified as 1, 2 or 3, which are emergent response units. As the regulator of the three recognized designations of the paramedic profession in Alberta, we know the incredible value EMRs provide to Albertans, especially in rural settings.
We have received a number of questions related to these changes, including how the change would affect current EMRs working on public ambulances. As the Ground Ambulance Regulation is not a piece of legislation the College works under or has any direct connection to, we reached out to Alberta Health to better understand the impact on regulated members of the profession. We have been informed that Alberta Health is working with operators to ensure a smooth transition to ensure no layoffs or gaps in the workplace.
As the regulator of paramedic professionals, we are committed to working with the EHS department to ensure the safety of Albertans during this transition. If you have any questions, please email me at Registrar@ABparamedics.com.
Tim A. Ford