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

Rebecca Neudorf and Siddhartha Minhas express the joyful atmosphere of this year’s grad cavalcade. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Nelson grads and proud parents celebrate a community milestone

Saturday’s cavalcade was graced with perfect weather

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

A bear-proof waste container at Lakeside Park. Not all garbage bins at the park are bear-proof. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Bear observed eating from garbage bin in Lakeside Park

The City of Nelson is gradually adding bear-proof bins throughout the city

Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson. Photo: Tyler Harper
NEWS AND VIEWS: Businesses still need assistance even in a more normal summer

Tom Thomson writes about a new Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce initiative

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

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

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read