Community Paramedicine Initiative: improving care in Fort St. James

An initiative by the B.C. Government has improved access to primary health-care services in rural B.C. and this includes Fort St. James.

  • Wed Nov 16th, 2016 8:00pm
  • News

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

An initiative by the B.C. Government has improved access to primary health-care services in rural B.C. and this includes Fort St. James.

“The community Paramedicine Initiative is a key component of our plan to improve these services in rural communities,” Health Minister, Terry Lake said.

“By building upon the skills and background of paramedics, we are empowering them to expand access to care for people who live in rural and remote communities, helping patients get the care they need closer to home.”

The government added 73 positions in British Columbia.

And in Fort St. James, changes to the service are improving with the hiring of two new primary care paramedics.

According to Mark Rivard, Paramedic Chief at B.C. Ambulance in Fort St. James, things are going quite well with the new paramedics as they complete the tail end of their training.

“This will certainly enhance care here in Fort St. James,” Rivard said.

Rivard, also a regional training officer, says that the training the paramedics are currently receiving exceeds their requirements for the job thus making them more than ready to provide the best care possible.

And with two new hires, comes a Community Paramedic vehicle which has already been busy making its rounds.

According to B.C Emergency Health Services, under this program, paramedics will provide basic health-care services, within their scope of practice, in partnership with local health-care providers. The enhanced role is not intended to replace care provided by health professionals such as nurses, but rather to complement and support the work these important professionals do each day, delivered in non-urgent settings, in patients’ homes or in the community.

This program will have paramedics provide basic health-care services, within their scope of practice, in partnership with local health-care providers. The enhanced role is not intended to replace care provided by health professionals such as nurses, but rather to complement and support the work these important professionals do each day, delivered in non-urgent settings, in patients’ homes or in the community.

“It really is “boots on the ground” care which will in turn be able to assist people and provide them with services right in their homes,” Rivard said.