BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is trying to ensure that there are sufficient paramedics in rural communities throughout the province.
In a leaked memo from Chief Ambulance Officer Leanne Heppell and Troy Clifford, Provincial President of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC, dated August 6th, BCEHS notified its employees and Local 873 members of two changes of great importance to Cortes Island, Sayward, Tahsis and Zeballos.
The four hour minimum wage extended
The four hour minimum wage (known as a kilo guaranteed), which paramedics have received for the past four years, has been restored until November 1, 2021.
On July 27, Cortes Currents revealed that this was about to be replaced by $2 an hour stand-by pay, until paramedics are called out, starting on August 1st.
More part time positions
In addition to reinstating the kilo guarantee in small communities while the transition to a new service model is underway, BC Emergency Services is hiring an additional 83 regular part-time paramedics for 26 stations.
Seven of these are on Vancouver Island, and the following stations are within the SRD:
- Cortes Island – 3 paramedics
- Sayward – 3 paramedics
- Tahsis – 2 paramedics
- Zeballos – 3 paramedics
The Alpha Stations
BCEHS is also setting up 22 stations, previously identified through the collective agreement to become Scheduled On Call (SOC)stations, as 24/7 Alpha stations. Bowser, Cumberland, Lake Cowichan, Port McNeill and Tofino are among them.
In a recent interview, Green Party MLA Adam Olsen said BCEHS may keep tweaking their service model for the next few months.
Links of Interest:
- (Cortes Currents) The need for a better ambulance service
- (Tideline) CCHA open letter re. Ambulance service on Cortes Island
- (SRD) Concern for the sustainability of BC Ambulance services in the Zeballos area (letter to the MInister)
- (Cortes Currents) SRD against new ambulance service initiative for rural areas
- (Cortes Currents) Enhanced Emergency Services? Or catastrophic collapse of a service?
Article originally published August 9, corrected August 15th.
Top photo credit: Man in front on headlight – Photo by Eugene Triguba Unsplash
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