Solutions sought for ambulance staff shortages in the Valley

it took an ambulance about 24 minutes to arrive on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle incident in Clearwater last summer

Lack of available staff meant it took an ambulance about 24 minutes to arrive on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle incident in Clearwater last summer – nine minutes more than normal, according to a BC Ambulance Service spokesperson.

District of Clearwater is aware of the situation and has met with BCAS to find solutions, according to Mayor John Harwood.

“We had a very good conversation regarding ambulance dispatch and availability of staff,” he said in a report to council recently.

The mayor said the meeting resulted in two initiatives.

The first is he has asked council member Ken Kjenstad to head up a scholarship initiative to provide assistance to local ambulance staff who want to upgrade their qualifications.

The second was he proposed to BCAS that they work together to improve recruitment and retention of staff at the Clearwater ambulance station.

 

Possible mechanisms could include advertising on the District’s website, holding open houses similar to those put on by Clearwater Volunteer Fire Department, and putting on training programs in Clearwater that could be used by people from the whole North Thompson Valley.