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

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
‘Springsteen on Broadway’ clears way for AstraZeneca recipients to attend show

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read