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Alberta (CA)


Alberta DB MediaWiki Quickref PDF Card Prairies/Pac Coast Forum

Welcome to the Alberta collaboration article. This is where you, the user, may index any articles you develop for scanning related topics for your area.

Contents

Alberta

Areawide Trunking System in Alberta

Geography

The province of Alberta is in western Canada, stretching from the United States border at the 49th parallel to the Northwest Territories at the 60th, and from British Columbia to the west - with the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains forming part of the border, along with the 120th line of longitude - to Saskatchewan in the east, on the 110th line of longitude. The province is comprised of varying terrain from flat prairie to tall mountainous regions, forested regions, and canyons and coulees, making for difficult comms challenges.

Relative Geographic Location

Radio Networks

Currently, the province has several aged conventional repeater networks, supporting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who provide municipal policing for the province; various Government of Alberta services including Sustainable Resource Development officers (Conservation Officers, Fish & Wildlife Officers, etc.); Alberta Sheriffs (providing traffic enforcement, court and remand officials, and other non-municipal law enforcement duties); and so on. Many of these networks are beyond the end of their useful life, and are being maintained only as long as is necessary to bridge the gap until the province-wide 700MHz, APCO Project-25 trunked radio network (AFRRCS - Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System) is built, scheduled to be started in 2009 with full system completion in 2012 (Now 2016).

Future edits to this page will include Alberta Unknown Trunking Systems, a list of systems known in the TAFL but whose type and system flavor are not known; Useful Common Alberta Information, such as how to program scanner ABC for system XYZ; and Upcoming Province of Alberta Projects, which will describe what is known about the Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System (AFRRCS) (mentioned above) and the upcoming (as of January 2009) Alberta Health Services merger/transition of ambulance services to the province.

Alberta Emergency Services Reference

This is a supplemental scanning reference for emergency services in Alberta.

Radio Codes

Most public safety organizations in Alberta use some combination of ten codes and supplementary status codes. APCO has defined a standard meaning for ten codes to provide interoperability between different departments and agencies. Most agencies in Alberta do not subscribe to the standard or have made significant changes.

RCMP

General Fire / EMS

Calgary Police Service

Edmonton Police Service

Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services is the arm of the Alberta provincial government responsible for health care. In terms of public safety, AHS is (soon to be) the operator of ambulance services for the province.

Background

Ambulance service in Alberta has historically been provided by municipalities as either a combination Fire/EMS agency or a 'third service' model. Several First Nations also provide their own ambulance services, which fall under federal guidelines and the Department of Indian Affairs.

Several times in the 2000s, the Government of Alberta made attempts at amalgamating existing ambulance services across the province into one entity, to be managed and governed by the province. In 2008, the declaration was made that this merger would take place on 2009 April 01.

Dispatch Services

Coupled with the merger (also described by the province as a 'transition' of services) of the ambulance agencies, is a project to consolidate dispatch services for EMS from over thirty dispatch centers across the province to a total of "nine or less", scheduled to be in place by January 2009 (target date missed). The term "nine or less" refers to having one dispatch center responsible for an entire health region, of which there are nine in the province; it is conceivable that one dispatch center may 'win' the bidding to dispatch more than one health region. As of February 2009, one or more dispatch centers are currently in contract negotiations to determine what areas they will dispatch for and when this will begin.

Communications

Currently, EMS services across the province use a myriad of all sorts of communications networks for dispatch and operations, including conventional UHF/VHF, various trunking systems, MotoTRBO, iDEN, VHF paired with satellite relay, and the Internet Radio Linking Protocol (IRLP), to name a few. It is suspected, but not confirmed, that the delay in deciding the dispatch agencies may contribute toward some sort of coincidental agreement or function with the Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System (AFRRCS) provincial trunking network project.

Timeline

The date for dispatch services to be switched over to the new agencies has already passed without action. Members of the EMS and first responder community have expressed concern that the province will not be able to keep to its scheduled transition date of 2009 April 01. The most recent information available implies that the province will expect all existing EMS providers to contract their services to AHS for a period of no less than two (2) years, thus building in a de facto 'cushion' or delay.

Dispatch Codes

All Alberta Health Services dispatch centres use the proprietary Medical Priority Dispatch System to determine the level of response.

Upcoming Province of Alberta Projects

Currently, there are two endeavors in the Province of Alberta that are relevant to the scanner community.

One is the Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System (AFRRCS) - a trunked network being designed and deployed to cover the entire province with integrated, interoperable communications for first responders and government agencies;

The other is the Alberta Health Services' ground ambulance merger/transition plan, scheduled to move all ground ambulance services to the responsibility of the government as of April 2009.

Other Alberta Trunking Systems

Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System

See Alberta First Responders' Radio Communication System (AFRRCS).

See ATCO Electric.

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