Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
On 11 days this summer and early fall, Quadra Island had no local paramedics available for emergency medical calls, data from the emergency responders’ union shows.
The ferry-dependent community of 2,700 residents has acute staff shortages, as do many rural communities in B.C. On Quadra, three of four permanent part-time paramedic positions are vacant, Cindy Leong, a spokesperson for BC Emergency Health Services, wrote in an email.
Continue reading ‘It’s a broken system that needs fixing,’ say emergency responders about B.C.’s rural paramedic shortages
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.
Continue reading The paramedic situation on Cortes and Quadra Islands
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.
Continue reading Better pay for paramedics in rural communities