Editor’s note: According to BC Emergency Health Service, this does not apply to Cortes Island which is allegedly “well staffed with all 4 Scheduled On-call (SOC) positions filled and 3 on call staff. SOC shifts are 24-hour shifts. Paramedics are at the station from 8am to 4pm, and carry a pager outside those hours.”
Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Quadra Island resident Carol Woolsey had the misfortune to experience a medical emergency in her rural community last month after the last ferry had sailed for the night.
After developing searing pain in her lower abdomen, the77-year-old and her cousin called911 around 10 p.m. on April 2.
Disoriented by pain and vomiting constantly into her kitchen sink, it seemed to Woolsey it was taking forever for paramedics to arrive. She was relieved to see two people come through the door around 20 minutes later.
However, relief turned to alarm when she learned the two were local volunteer firefighters responding because there were no paramedics available on the island. Woolsey had to wait for a crew to come by water taxi from Campbell River.
Continue reading Paramedic shortages still plague rural areas, but some remedies may be in the works