Barriere First Responders recently practiced “donning and doffing” personal protective equipment (BSI and PPE), along with reviewing what type of PPE is required for different viruses. The group notes on their social media page, “If we respond to a call with influenza type symptoms don’t be surprised to see our first responders suited up!” (Facebook: BAFRS photo)

Barriere First Responders is an integral part of emergency services

The Barriere First Responders Society (BAFRS) is a registered non-profit organization that operates in the community and plays an integral part in emergency services by standing ready to assist the community as needed.

The primary function of BAFRS is that of a community resource to assist BC Ambulance Service with high acuity medical emergencies when an ambulance is delayed in attending a call. BAFRS also provides assistance with patient care on highway rescues and civil emergency operations. Their area of operation is approximately 3700 square kilometres, as BAFRS’ boundaries are the same as Barriere BC Ambulance which includes McLure, Barriere Lakes, Agate Bay, Darfield, Louis Creek, Chu Chua, and Blackpines, there are approximately 4,500 persons residing within this area.

A mutual aid agreement has been established with Chu Chua First Responders so that in the event that either group might need assistance, or isn’t able to respond, the other will cross cover the area.

BAFRS is composed solely of volunteers. Currently there are some 14 members of which 12 are on call and can be reached by phone paging 24 hours a day. Call-outs are primarily initiated by the BC Ambulance Service but can also be initiated by other federal, provincial, and municipal emergency service agencies.

BAFRS volunteers responding to a call out, report to the Barriere Fire Hall, where a fully stocked ambulance is stored. Members communicate with other members to advise they are responding to a call on “Whats App”, which speeds up response time so members aren’t waiting at the Fire Hall for someone that is never coming. Once on scene members provide life saving emergency medical care at the level of First Responder Level 3.

First Responder training is a 40 hour comprehensive course, taken every three years, covering; CPR and AED use, minor wound care, splinting, airway management, and spinal immobilization. Once BC Ambulance arrives, members give a handoff report and assist BC Ambulance with any other patient care required.

Members may be required to assist with patient extraction and or ride third with BC Ambulance to assist with critical patients. Once clear, members return to quarters where they debrief, restock, and pretrip the ambulance for the next call.

BAFRS resources include a new ambulance, automated external defibrillators, medical jump kits, oxygen, spine board and clamshells, fire rehab kit, plus minor and major trauma kits.

BAFRS say they are also committed to fundraising to enhance their medical equipment which allows them to provide cutting edge medical care.

In 2019 the Barriere First Responders Society were called out to 107 medical and mutual aid tasks. Members logged several hundred additional hours on training, administration, and community events such as the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo held in Barriere, CPR awareness, and many other events.

Business and Training meetings are held the first Monday and the second to last Monday of every month at the Barriere Fire Hall. BAFRS’ directors meet 30 minutes prior to the regular members. Any business requiring a vote by the members is done quickly after all members show up. Once all business is dealt with, members run through skill stations and medical calls to maintain their skills.

Learn more by going to: http://www.bafrs.org or check them out on Facebook: Barriere First Responders

Source: Barriere First Responders Society 2019 Annual Report.

Emergency calls

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