04/25/2016 21:11 EDT | Updated 04/26/2017 01:12 EDT

More than $18 million spent on new emergency centre in Kananaskis Country

KANANASKIS, Alta. — The Alberta government is funding an $18.5 million replacement for the Kananaskis Emergency Services Centre.

The new facility will provide fire and advanced life support ambulance services for both residents and tourists, as well as a 24-hour dispatch centre.

Parks Minister Shannon Phillips says the investment will result in enhanced safety for Albertans and visitors to the province who are in Kananaskis Country.

The current centre was built in 1986 to support the 1988 Olympics.

Since then, calls to the centre have increased more than tenfold, averaging more than 5,000 calls per year.

The dispatch service also provides vital support for the Kananaskis Public Safety team, which is involved in 24/7 on-call response for backcountry rescue and emergency services.

(CTV Calgary)