ABOVE: Riondel's new ambulance station had its grand opening last weekend. BELOW: Riondel paramedics Susan Tesoriere

New ambulance station unveiled in Riondel

Local paramedics and community members celebrated a bigger and better BC Ambulance Service station in Riondel at a ceremony on Saturday.

Local paramedics and community members celebrated a bigger and better BC Ambulance Service station in Riondel at a ceremony on Saturday.

“Having a safe, secure and comfortable station is greatly appreciated by our crew,” unit chief Cynthia Bonnell said in a news release. “The space suits our professional needs and this winter I know we’ll all appreciate having our ambulance inside a vehicle bay. The crew quarters, storage and training area all support our provision of efficient and effective pre-hospital patient care to our community.”

The 1,400 square foot station is a modular structure which serves as the crew quarters and includes the purpose-built stick-framed vehicle bay. Previously, the crew quarters and vehicle bay were located separately with the ambulance stationed at the community centre and the crew in a residential building.

“We have had such amazing support from our community, ambulance auxiliary and emergency services and medical partners,” Bonnell said. “We share this station opening with all our community partners and our friends and neighbours of Riondel.”

The new crew quarters includes rest areas, a kitchen, an office, bathrooms, storage space and a training area.

The Riondel ambulance station was established in 1971 and serves the residents of Kootenay Bay, Crawford Bay, Gray Creek, Boswell and surrounding areas. The station employs four paramedics and works closely with the Riondel volunteer fire department, RCMP, and Crawford Bay medical clinic.

Last year, Riondel paramedics responded to 95 calls, 89 of which required an emergency lights and siren response.