When an emergency frontline worker experiences an urgent medical crisis themselves, particularly if it happens while they are in the line of duty, you would certainly expect that health-care authorities would move mountains and go above and beyond to help one of their own.
Tragically, this was far from the case last week when longtime paramedic and emergency responder Mike Hart suffered a serious medical emergency and sadly there was an over 30-minute wait for the ambulance to make its way out to Mike in Airdrie. Paramedics across Alberta and the nation have been mourning the passing of Mike Hart and wondering why the system he served for so long failed him.
There have been serious issues with Alberta Health Services’ management of ambulance care, with an increasing number of ‘red alert’ or ‘code red’ incidents occurring as of late. A code red means that there are no ambulances available to respond to emergency calls in a given area, which is obviously a serious situation to be in on an increasingly common basis.
Emergency responders, the paramedic’s union and concerned citizens alike have been calling for action and an end to the bureaucratic centralization of emergency response services that has created this mess, and some are suggesting that it may very well be costing lives.
COVID-19 has been used as an excuse to explain away our overwhelmed healthcare system, but the reality is that for years prior to the onset of the so-called pandemic the symptoms of AHS mismanagement were already raising alarms among emergency responders. If COVID-19 has factored adversely into the ongoing code red situation, it is likely a result of the significant number of emergency responders who have been sent home because of their vaccine status.
Paramedics deal with life and death on a daily basis and see things most of us can’t imagine.
They are often overworked and under-supported, and to top it all off they are now losing their friends and coworkers over vaccines mandates. As though that wasn’t enough, they have also lost one of their own in the line of duty, and because of AHS mismanagement, they weren’t even able to provide an ambulance to their colleague in a timely fashion to give him a fighting chance.
I was joined by emergency responder Tim Moen to discuss Mike Hart’s legacy, the problems and mismanagement that contributed to this tragedy, and the hope that his death was not in vain and that changes will finally come to pass to fix this broken system.
We reached out to Alberta Health Services for comment, and they shared the following response:
We send our deepest sympathies to this paramedic’s family, friends and colleagues.
AHS EMS leadership is in direct contact with the family, and has offered support to all involved. We will continue to be available to the family to answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Out of respect for the family, AHS will not be offering further comment at this time.
If you want to stand with paramedics and emergency responders, you can do so by donating at FightVaccinePassports.com. Your donation goes to The Democracy Fund, a registered Canadian charity, and will be used to hire lawyers for our many vaccine mandate legal battles across Canada, including a lawsuit on behalf of a group of emergency responders against Alberta Health Services. Donations made at FightVaccinePassports.com are eligible for a tax receipt.