Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Province 'should provide 80% of ambulance operation funding' By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer The provincial government should provide financing for 80 per cent of the deficits incurred by ambulance services in the province, a study of Lethbridge area ambulance service says. The study, co ordinated by the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission, says the money should be paid through the Albert Health Care Insurance Commission. The report, released to The ambulance service within the County of Lethbridge but has provincial application in some areas, Commission Director Lawrence Smith says. In the area of ambulance financing, the report points out if the government provided financial assistance to municipalities, which have responsibility for services, it would keep smaller centres at a minimum level of service. "Provincial government financing of province wide ambulance service is the only way many municipalities could afford to provide an ambulance service or to upgrade existing the study says. Even in large cities where the frequency of use is higher, it is not profitable to operate an ambulance service and therefore government subsidy is required, it adds. Because some ambulance services are operated by private concerns, subsidized by municipalities, the government is being asked to share the cost of that municipal subsidy. This financing recommendation is one of 12 recommendations to the province. There are 14 recommendations for municipalities and one miscellaneous recommendation. Included in recommendations to the province are: The establishment of an Ambulance Service Act; Minimum standards for ambulance attendants; The- province establish an ambulance inspection agency to issue and withdraw licences. The province organize a province wide integrated system of regional ambulance centres to deal with long distance transfer service; The province provide incentives for refresher courses for ambulance personnel. One area that has bothered some regional health officials is the problem of transferring patients long distances. The town or municipality is then left without service. "Regional ambulance centres equipped with vehicles for long distance transfers would alleviate the problem of local ambulances being absent from their the study says. The study ruled out the use of a helicopter service to transfer patients because of the low frequency of use and high cost. "The capital and operating costs of providing a helicopter ambulance service for this area are so great that it is not considered reasonable at this the study says, i "Ground ambulances in any case would be required to transfer patients from hospital to aircraft." In its recommendations to municipalities the study says there should be three ambulance centres in the County of Lethbridge: at Coaldale. Picture Butte and Lethbridge. Each centre would cover its municipality and a designated portion of the county. Specific boundaries for servicing would have to be established. District The Lethbridge Herald Local Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Monday, December 16, 1974 Pages 15-28 Games visitors may find keen lodging contest Tradition I g in the making I Officials at the Lethbridge K Public Library hoped they had s some tradition in the making w Sunday with their first family Christmas carol sing. They plan s to make it an annual event. Some were young, like Sian Parry, 10, left, and Danny Math- eson, 6; but others, like Edgar Marsden, knew most of the words by heart. Christmas countdown Thousands cutting their own real tree By MICHAEL ROGERS Herald Staff Writer The shortage of artificial Christmas trees and the artificial shortage of real Christmas trees is a reality. If shoppers panic, it could lead to a real shortage of both real and artificial Christmas trees. Folks who want to cut a real Christmas tree are finding their plans repeatedly frustrated because of a shortage of permits to cut trees on Crown land. Local department store managers report their supply of artificial Christmas trees is limited and when the supply is gone shoppers who want ar- tificial Christmas trees will have to wait until next season. Meanwhile, the men who are selling real Christ- mas trees in various locations around the city say once their supply is gone, well, that's it. The provincial fish and wildlife office here is sell- ing tree cutting permits to cut Christmas trees at 50 cents apiece. "But we keep running out of a fish and wildlife spokesman reports. Up to permits have been sold throughout Southern Alberta in the past two weeks. The local fish and wildlife office ran out Wednesday, ran out again Friday but was back in business today when more permits were delivered. Last year the local office didn't even sell the 250 permits it received initially. Sales throughout the area are about double last year's. "The weather's so nice and the roads into the forest areas are excellent, people are just saying 'well why not cut our own says Frank Somerville, regional wildlife officer. "Permit sales in other areas are busy he said, "The Castle River Ranger Station ran out and had to borrow some from the fish and wildlife office in Pincher Creek." The sales are "way up" from last year, the of- ficial said. The permits, or release tags, are available at fish and wildlife offices in Lethbridge, Cardston, Pincher Creek, and Claresholm and the Castle River Ranger Station and the Blairmore Forestry office. For those who don't like the idea of trudging through the woods to find a suitable tree, there are several areas in the city where trees are sold. But the price is a little, or a lot higher than 50 cents. MOVING SLOW At. J. W. Self Serve gas station, 19th Street and 3rd Avenue, trees are going for to depending on the size. One of the people selling the trees there, Lorraine Pickett from Rock Creek, B.C., says the average price is and the fuller and taller the tree the higher the price. The Rock Creek crew brought about 425 trees, mostly blue spruce, and once they are gone it's back to British Columbia for Lorraine Pickett. "We started selling the trees last Saturday and sales were generally slow all week but they're pick- ing she said. At Mo Tires, 30513th St. N., the Latter day Saint 6th Ward is selling Christmas trees at a flat rate of Kfl "You pay the and take your own pick. We started out with about said Dwain Smith. Mr. Smith said his group also started selling the trees last week and when the trees are gone "we won't be getting anymore." Brian Fahselt, from Cranbrook, is selling Douglas fir and spruce trees at the Spotlite Service Station, 804 3rd Ave. S. "The trees are of better quality than last said Mr. Fahselt, "The spruce are selling the best." His trees average from two feet high to 10 feet and sell for to There will always be a demand for the traditional evergreen Christmas tree but each year more and more buyers are turning to the artificial Christmas tree. Reports from local department stores indicate that this year the demand for artificial trees ex- ceeds the supply. Artificial trees range in size from 2Vi footer to the eight footer and prices range from to depending on what you select and which store you're in. By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer Spectators arriving in Lethbridge two months from now for Canada Winter Games competition will find themselves in competition of another sort: finding a place. "Sorry. No vacancy" signs will greet hundreds, perhaps thousands, of travel weary sports fans unable to find hotel or motel rooms. A Herald survey shows most city hotels are already booked solid, with many reservations made by Games organizers for visiting dignitaries, sports officials and press people. "I don't know where spec- tators are going to says one city hotelman. "Lethbridge is basically too small a city to handle everyone coming for the adds another. While Games organizers say they don't know how many visitors to expect, they readi- ly admit there won't be enough beds to go around. "There's something like 50 beds available in the city says city travel agent Gayle Jensen, chairman of the Winter Games spectator services committee. A Herald survey of city hotels confirms Mr. Jensen's estimate. The 139-room Holi- day Inn. which Games people dub "VIP is booked solid. All but five of the Marquis Hotel's 91 rooms have been reserved by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Also full is the El Rancho Motor Hotel, with 51 of 68 rooms committed to the Games for visiting press. Where will spectators sleep? "The majority of people COLOR HIATCO POQi COFFEE BAf? LODGE MANAGER TERRY REMPEL EXPECTS TO HAVE TO SAY 'SORRY'. from out of town will either be put up in homes in Lethbridge or in motels and hotels as far away as Taber and Fort replies Mr. Jensen. "I haven't been able to get anx accurate figure of the number of he Youngsters injured in fall from Siwik high board steps The high diving board at the Stan Siwik Swimming Pool has been declared out of order today following an accident involv- ing two youngsters Sunday. City community service officials reported today that Kathy Donaldson, St. N., slipped on the steps leading to the high diving board and fell on Leslie Marsden, 8th Ave. A N., knocking him to the concrete surface. Kathy is suffering from a sore neck and bruises today while Leslie is receiving treatment to his teeth. He had two front teeth knocked and at least six others injured Sunday. The city community services department had ordered new "sure-grip" steps for the high diving board and in the mean- time was using tape on the smooth steps. adds. Winter Games officials have asked Saskatoon, site of the previous winter event, how many visitors that city received. A plea to city residents to billet visitors will go out after Christmas. Mr. Jensen says. The Winter Games will set up a housing bureau in the Henderson Lake swimming pool office and provide an in- formation agency to unite bedless spectators with the city residents extending some western hospitality. "Every hotel and mote! will be contacted" about the hospitality service so hapless visitors can find alternate ac- commodation as quickly as possible. Before people are allowed to put up spectators, he says. Games officials will take a look at their homes to make sure accommodation is suitable. And if people want to charge for their hospitality, he says, it's "left to their dis- cretion it's their privilege." Don't let Yule become a bummer with tree going up in smoke A Christmas tree aglow with many colored lights, draped with tinsel and sparkl- ing with many other decorations is one of the pret- tiest sights of the festive season. However, a beautiful Christ- mas tree can also be a fire hazard. Lethbridge Fire Marshall Doug Kometz suggests the following to have a safe Christmas tree: Make sure the tree is moist to begin with and not dried out; After buying a tree cut a few inches off the bottom to enable water to circulate to the rest of the tree; If the tree is not to be used immediately, store it in a cool place and set the base in some water; When possible a tree should be set up away from heat ducts because this dries it out; The tree base should be put in water when it's set up and fresh water should be add- ed periodically. Stay away from flam- mable tree decorations such as paper and cotton ones. Don't use lights (indoor and outdoor) with frayed cords or damaged ends. Don't use decorations such as candles that have an open flame; Never put electric lights on an aluminum tree because if there is a short circuit the whole tree could become electrified; Buy decorations and lights having the Canadian Stan- dards Association's (CSA) seal of approval. When trees are taken down they should be disposed with as quickly as possible because when they are dry they are fire hazards even in a back lane: These are common sense things to do, Mr. Kometz says, but people still forget to do them. He also warned of other fire hazards during the Christ- mas season. Some table decorations with candles in them are not meant to be lit. The material with which the decorations are made of is flammable and if the candle burns down and comes in contact with the flammable material the whole decoration could burst into flames, Mr. Kometz says. People wearing Santa Claus suits should make sure the suits (including the beard) are non-flammable. When unwrapping gifts don't leave wrapping paper in a big pile in the centre of the room. Put it in a metal con- tainer and get it outside as quickly as possible. Alcohol or drugs were in- volved in one out of five fires in Alberta in 1973, Mr. Kometz says.