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Calgary paramedics launched a radio ad campaign this week urging municipal and provincial politicians to leave ambulance service in the city’s hands.

The province wants the service controlled by the Calgary Health Region and they’ve set April 1, 2005, as the deadline for the transfer.

The ads warn that response times might suffer if paramedics cannot co-ordinate with fire and police services.

“Our ambulance service is widely recognized as one of the best in the world,” said CUPE Local 3421 president Bruce Robb. “Messing with the system puts that at risk.”

“The city has the infrastructure - it owns the vehicles, it owns the stations, and it can provide co-ordination with fire and police,” Robb said. “The city has the expertise and should continue to run the ambulance service.”