EMS Hotline

MLA Swann, and the Alberta Liberal Caucus, would like to thank all of the individuals who participated in our EMS hotline survey. You have provided vital information and insight that brings awareness and potentially, if the NDP listen, much needed change to Alberta Emergency Medical Services. 

Here is a Summary of the EMS Survey Results: 

  • 104 EMS staff responded
  • The survey was administered by an HSAA Official
  • 3% believed hallway wait times had increased since they had begun working for EMS, 28.2% believed they were unchanged, and only 9.7% believed they had gone down.
  • EMS workers targeted hallway waits as a source of delayed response times, particularly in Calgary, where they say it has led to red alerts that have forced ambulances out of surrounding areas to cover the Calgary region.
  • EMS workers cited hallway waits as impacting the quality of care they were able to deliver due to inadequate resources in the hallway and the waits stretching their numbers thin.
  • EMS workers cited excessive hallway waits resulting in overtime hours as detrimental to both their health and their family life.
  • EMS workers said that hallway waits have had a negative impact on their relationship with nurses and other healthcare workers, which in turn negatively impacts quality of care.

EMS Workers identified the causes of hallway wait times as:

  • A Lack of beds
  • Emergency Services being used by patients who don’t require emergency care
  • A lack of communication between facilities
  • Triage nurses not being able to send low acuity patients to the waiting room

EMS staff proposed solutions including:

  • More fast track zones
  • Allowing more patients to go to the waiting room
  • Having a Doctor present at triage
  • Clearer waiting room guidelines
  • More long term care to free up beds.
  • Increasing public awareness about when and when not to use emergency services.

EMS Hotline:

  • Citizen responses highlighted increased wait times, as well as issues with provision of care.
  • Individuals shared experiences where they waited a long time to have their call answered or others whose provision of care was not patient-centered.

EMS Crisis Facts:


We encourage Albertans who have input on this issue to contact our office with their stories or opinions. The hotline may be completed, but our work to repair EMS services is not done. Please find more information on this issue in our media releases under the Media Releases tab.