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Operator how-to guide

As an ambulance operator you are required to:

  • apply for a new ambulance operator licence OR
  • renew your operator licence before it expires
  • get your vehicles approved for use by EHS
  • ensure you have the right insurance
  • register your mechanics
  • complete mechanical safety inspections
  • fix deficiencies identified by inspections
  • notify EHS about out of service vehicles and vehicles no longer in use
  • keep your info current with EHS
  • report a collision if it meets the Ambulance Collision Reporting Program policy criteria

Ensure your licence application is complete

Talk to an EMS specialist before submitting your application for a new licence or to renew your licence. This helps ensure the application is complete and can be processed in a timely fashion.

An application for a new or renewed licence must include a letter of approval from Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Getting your vehicles approved by EHS

A new, used or remounted ambulance not previously licensed in Alberta must receive the registrar’s approval prior to being issued a unit identification number and being placed into service. Any chassis or patient compartment more than 12 years old may only be used if an exemption has been granted by the Registrar.

The approval process requires:

  • a mechanical safety inspection – modified safety inspection if the odometer reading is less than 5,000 km, full inspection if 5,000 or more km
  • the operator is required to give 2 weeks’ notice of delivery to schedule a vehicle inspection by an EMS specialist
  • a weight ticket is required to verify compliance with payload allowance
  • new units that are an addition to your fleet require an equipment and supplies inspection
    • replacement units may not require this inspection
    • after the operator has informed EHS which unit is being replaced and will become inactive, the EMS specialist will record this
  • all noted deficiencies must be corrected prior to the registrar approving the unit to be placed into service

Insurance requirements

Each operator is required to provide us with proof of vehicle and malpractice insurance by submitting the relevant certificates of insurance, including a passenger carrying endorsement (Standard Endorsement Form 6a or 6c). Pink cards are not accepted as valid proof.

Section 38 of the Ground Ambulance Regulation states:

An ambulance operator shall maintain, in respect of an ambulance used in the provision of emergency health services, automobile insurance that includes an endorsement giving the operator permission to carry passengers for compensation and that insures, to a limit in respect of each collision of not less than $2,000,000 exclusive of interest and costs, against liability resulting from bodily injury to or the death of one or more persons and loss of or damage to property.

Section 39 states:

An ambulance operator shall have malpractice insurance under which (a) the ambulance operator and each ambulance attendant engaged by the ambulance operator are insured against liability for personal injury resulting from negligent acts or omissions in carrying out their duties, (b) the minimum liability for which the ambulance operator and each ambulance attendant is insured is $2,000,000 for each negligent act or omission, and (c) the policy includes an annual aggregate limit of at least $3,000,000.

Register your mechanics

The operator is responsible to ensure the inspecting mechanic has been registered with EHS. This registry is in addition to any inspection certifications that the mechanic may have. Inspections completed by non-registered mechanics will be rejected.

How to register a mechanic:

  • at the request of the operator, the inspection agency or the mechanic, EHS will supply registration package(s), consisting of an ambulance safety inspection manual and a mechanic registration form
  • the mechanic is required to be familiar with the ambulance inspection standards in the manual, and return a signed registration card
  • by signing the card, the mechanic accepts responsibility for inspecting ambulances to the standards set out in the manual
  • send the completed mechanic registration forms to EHS

Complete mechanical safety inspections

Section 29 of the Ground Ambulance Regulation states:

An ambulance shall be inspected for roadworthiness at intervals established by the Registrar by a person who is a certified journeyperson in the trade of automotive service technician or by a certified journeyperson in the truck and transport mechanic branch of the trade of heavy equipment technician under the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act.

The Registrar has established the inspection interval at 6 months, or twice a year.

The operator is responsible to ensure that:

  • inspections are done and submitted on time
  • the mechanic is qualified to do the inspection and registered with EHS
  • completed safety inspection forms are emailed to EHS

If an ambulance is out of service for an extended period, for mechanical or body repairs, resulting in a late safety inspection, the operator must:

  • notify us that the unit will be 'Inactive' until further notice
  • prior to placing the unit back into service, ensure that the safety inspection is done and sent in to us – the recorded date of the (late) safety inspection will be the date on which the inspection was done
  • contact us to have the unit returned to 'Active' status

Out of service vehicles

If a vehicle is involved in an accident or needs extra repairs, the operator must contact EHS stating the unit will not be active until further notice.

This vehicle is not authorized to be used again until the operator contacts us advising the repairs have been completed. If the vehicle is operated by a contracted ambulance provider, EHS may advise AHS that the vehicle is out of service.

Vehicles no longer in use

If a vehicle is no longer going to be in service, the operator is required to contact EHS and ensure all government unit identification numbers and the word 'Ambulance' have been removed from the vehicle.

If the vehicle is being sold to another licensed operator in Alberta, contact an EMS specialist.

Inspections and compliance

Regular base inspections are conducted by EHS in accordance with the Emergency Health Services Act and the Ground Ambulance Regulation. Inspections may cover facilities, vehicles, equipment and supplies, including records, policies and procedures. Spot inspections may be conducted at random.

Deficiencies must be corrected within 10 business days.

Renew your operator licence

Contact EHS at least 2 months before your licence expires, before you submit the licence application form.

Stay current

The operator is responsible for contacting EHS whenever their contact information changes. This includes contact name, service address, phone number and email address.



Connect with the Emergency Health Services unit:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-9654
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-0134
Email: [email protected]

Alberta Health
Emergency Health Services
P.O. Box 1360, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2N3

Emergency Health Services unit

  • Janelle Gehring, Provincial Director, EHS
  • Cassandra Fennell – Manager, EMS Policy Standards and Reporting
  • Steve Sutton – Manager, EMS Licensing and Compliance
  • Mauricio Caldas – EMS Specialist
  • Enzo Della Rocca – EMS Specialist
  • Amy Langridge – EMS Specialist
  • Milt Towle – EMS Specialist
  • Patrick Martin – Senior Policy Analyst
  • Margaret Mupanguri – Policy Analyst
  • Abayomi Karunwi – EHS Project Advisor

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