National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 9-15

Every municipality has several of them, yet most citizens don’t think of them until they really need them. Public safety telecommunicators, or dispatchers, are the calming voice at the other end of the line during an emergency when you call 911.

Alberta has one of the country’s busiest centers, as Calgary is recognized as one of the largest public safety answering points in Canada, answering more than one million calls, both emergency and non-emergency, every year.

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Seasons Greetings!

This year has been an exciting year for the paramedicine profession in Alberta. The Government of Alberta approved the transition to the Health Professions Act (HPA) on September 15th. This new legislation and regulation will have a significant impact on our profession and the coming years will involve changing processes, policies and functions. Supporting practice under the legislation is the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. These documents are used to guide and direct your professional paramedic practice by defining ethical and clinical practices, principles of professional conduct, and behavioral expectations.

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Enacting the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

All practitioners now have greater opportunity to advance their practice, benefitting patients, with the recent transition to the Health Professions Act (HPA) and the Paramedics Profession Regulation (PPR). To provide care as a ‘professional’ is to act for the benefit of the patient. Practitioners in the profession of paramedicine are integral members of the health and public safety systems in Alberta and now equal partners under the HPA.

The move to professional self-regulation enables each individual practitioner to be more accountable for their practice within a professional practice model, similar to other health professionals in Alberta. The PPR provides the framework for practitioners to provide safe and competent care in all aspects of practice including clinical, education, management and research settings.

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Join the College for the 2016 Annual General Meeting!

All practitioners are invited to attend the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held on Friday, October 21st in Red Deer. In addition, the 2016 Council Elections will be held in conjunction with the AGM. This year there are an unprecedented eight candidates running for four Council positions. Each candidate will have an opportunity to present five minute speeches. Following the speeches, an election will be held. “This is a great opportunity to contribute and I encourage all practitioners to attend the AGM, vote and help make a positive contribution to the future of paramedicine in Alberta.” Tim Essington, Executive Director & Registrar

To learn more about the Council candidates’, their pictures and biographies are available on the College’s website.

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Finding Legitimate Sources For Professional Development

Information, information, information… It’s everywhere. So how do you know if the information you’re finding on the Internet is legitimate? Here are a few things to consider when trying to obtain high quality, legitimate sources for professional development.

About the Creator

Consider the ‘creator’, do they mention their experience with the topic or list their credentials? Generally, if someone is an expert in a particular area, they will identify their expertise by providing their credentials and list experiences on the subject matter. Be cautious of a source where the creator does not specify their credentials and experience in any way. A search engine is an excellent tool when searching for more information about a person or organization providing professional development activities. Reviews are also another way to gain information about a specific activity or provider, it can give you an idea of what others have experienced and what they think of the training being offered.

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Where We Are – A Financial Perspective

After extensive consideration and thorough analysis, Council has had to make the difficult decision to increase fees for next year’s registration, increasing to $525, and fees for exams. (full details here)

It is understood this is not pleasant but this decision is a fiduciary necessity. The Alberta College of Paramedics is a strong regulatory body in the province and is a leader of paramedic governance across the country.

The 2016 projected budget is a $470,000 deficit. For various reasons (including the economy) the exam revenue is expected to be down approximately 20% and registration numbers are less than predicted. It is important to note exam revenue does not contribute to the College budget as exam fees are established on cost recovery basis. It is estimated, registration numbers will decrease this year by about 400 practitioners from 2015. The reduction in exam revenue and registration numbers means a reduction in total revenue.

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Continuing competence: A chore or a passion?

So you’ve been asked to stay competent, but you might be wondering why. What’s wrong with the old way of doing things? I mean, you had it right the first time, didn’t you? Why take the time to study something you already know?

But maybe you’re asking the wrong questions. Consider the following scenario: it’s time to get your immunizations. You get to the appointment and have a choice between one of two healthcare professionals to immunize you; however, you quickly discover one of them is not current in practice. You are able to identify who is not current by their tool of choice.


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