Tag Archives: BC Ambulance

Cortes and Quadra Islands to receive more paramedics

On April 1, BC Emergency Health Services improved the staffing models for 60 rural and remote ambulance stations. Cortes and Quadra Islands are among the 6 communities within the Strathcona Regional District that will benefit. 

“We recognize that one staffing model doesn’t work for all parts of the province, and these three models will help us improve our services to better meet the needs of the community and patients and enable more of our paramedics to live and work in their home communities,” explained Leanne Heppell, BCEHS’ Chief Ambulance Officer, in a press release.

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Interview with Cortes Island’s new Interim Fire Chief

(Transcript of the radio program, with edits)

Eli McKenty had been Cortes Island’s Interim Fire Chief for 15 days when I interviewed him. He was actually the Department’s preferred choice as Fire Chief five months ago, but turned the job down, so they hired someone from Alberta. After five months of a six month trial period, the Cortes Island Fire Department came to the conclusion that ‘aspects of Dave Ives’ leadership style were at odds with the culture of our fire department’ and he was dismissed. McKenty agreed to be the Fire Chief until they can find a replacement. 

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The paramedic situation on Cortes and Quadra Islands

There have been numerous reports of BC ambulances being understaffed recently. According to Prince Rupert Northern View, the Bella Coola ambulance was only in service for 52% of July. Quadra Island volunteer firefighter Marc Doll recently informed Cortes Currents there are times when no paramedics are available on Quadra and ‘any firefighter that currently has a class four license is basically being put on standby because they no longer have the ability to have two people scheduled to keep the ambulance going.’ After receiving a couple of anonymous tips on Cortes Island, Cortes Currents asked BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) for an update on the local situation. 

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Province improves BC Ambulance Service in Nakusp

Editor’s note: The shortage of paramedics serving in BC’s rural communities, from Quadra Island to the Interior, has been an ongoing problem. Cortes Island appears to be one of the exceptions, in that it “is not facing any significant staffing issues.” Here is another success story.

By John Boivin, Valley Voice, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nakusp is going to have a fully-staffed, 24/7 ambulance service in the near future.

BC Emergency Health Service says it’s improving ambulance service in the community by providing eight full-time paramedic positions.

Nakusp is one of 31 communities that will be receiving more permanent full-time paramedics.

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Bella Coola ambulance service had coverage for only half of July

By Kaitlyn Bailey,  Prince Rupert Northern View, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Bella Coola ambulance was only in-service 52 per cent of July, Lesley Pritchard, communications for BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) stated in an email.

The in-service average over the past year was higher, at 75 per cent, but was still equivalent to one week per month without ambulance services.

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