Emergency Health Services say they received a 911 call June 1 at 3:35 p.m. from a woman who had fallen but was in stable condition at Metrotown SkyTrain station. (Ambulance Paramedics of B.C.)

Emergency Health Services say they received a 911 call June 1 at 3:35 p.m. from a woman who had fallen but was in stable condition at Metrotown SkyTrain station. (Ambulance Paramedics of B.C.)

Ambulance response times in question after B.C. woman waits 1 hour with broken hip

Union president Troy Clifford says B.C.’s poorly managed paramedic staffing system is to blame

A broken-hipped senior left waiting for more than an hour in Burnaby Tuesday is raising questions about ambulance response times in the province.

B.C. Emergency Health Services say they received a 911 call June 1 from a woman who fell near Metrotown mall but was in stable condition. Firefighters were on the scene within 15 minutes.

Paramedics didn’t arrive until an hour later.

Tory Clifford, president of Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. says Provincial Health Services Authority and Emergency Health Services decisions are to blame for long wait times.

“Every minute counts in these critical situations,” says Clifford, who has been a paramedic for three decades now.

“I’ve never seen the challenges the way they are now.”

ALSO READ: After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

A quarter of ambulances unstaffed

Approximately 25 per cent of Lower Mainland ambulances are going unstaffed because of inefficient management of B.C.’s on-call model of staffing and recruitment, says Clifford.

“We are not able to offer meaningful work and wages. We can’t compete to the pay of other paramedic stations, like those in the private industry, members of the coast guard or firefighters.”

Nowadays, up to 30 ambulances are staffed and ready to respond to Lower Mainland medical emergencies of the 120 ambulances able to be dispatched.

“On average, call volumes in B.C. increased by six per cent each year. That’s without a pandemic or opioid crisis,” Clifford says.

The staff shortage has increased the workload of paramedics on shift, he says, as fatigue and stress levels climb “through the roof.”

“People are leaving the job.”

RELATED: B.C. paramedics worry end of job-share will spark burnout



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Emergency calls

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Fort St. James Fire Department Captain Gary Soles (left), Fire Chief Ryan McVey (centre) and Captain John Bennison show off a new set of ‘jaws of life’ cutters. (Brooke Eschuk, District of Fort St. James photo)
Fort St. James Fire Department receives life-saving rescue tool

New set of ‘jaws-of-life’ cutters arrived last month

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read