The increase in staffing to seven full-time paramedics will allow the station to operate two dedicated ambulances, as well as an additional ambulance operating during peak daytime demand hours.
The extra resources will also support the nearby communities of Rossland, Fruitvale and Salmo, where current on-call resources will be retained. The changes in Trail will help keep paramedic crews in their home communities, available to respond to medical 9-1-1 emergencies.
The increased resources are part of an ongoing commitment by the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority and BCEHS to increase the number of permanent paramedic positions and improve ambulance services in urban, rural and remote areas of B.C.
“We are committed to improving health care in smaller communities,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “By increasing Trail’s full-time paramedic staff and adding an additional ambulance, we are strengthening the emergency services the community depends on and ensuring paramedics will be there when people need them.”
As part of the BCEHS Action Plan
, the community of Trail was identified as a top priority in the ongoing review of where services are most needed to improve patient care.
BCEHS also recently added full-time paramedics in the neighbouring community of Castlegar, as well as in the Central Interior and Peace River region.
“Paramedic services are an increasingly important part of our integrated health care system,” said Linda Lupini, executive vice president of BCEHS. “By increasing the number of full time paramedics available in the Trail area, BCEHS can better support the needs of patients and respond to the most urgent 9-1-1 calls faster.”
BC paramedics benefit from these additional full-time jobs that come with regularly scheduled hours, consistent pay and benefits.
“The residents of Trail are pleased to welcome these new paramedic positions to the community,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “Having additional dedicated emergency services will improve patient care in the Trail area where high call volumes can affect emergency coverage and response times. These additions also mean more skilled jobs for the region, and better services for our aging and growing population throughout the West Kootenay region.”
The new paramedic positions will be awarded based on the hiring standards in the CUPE 873 Collective Agreement with BCEHS.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is responsible for the delivery and governance of pre-hospital emergency medical care and inter-facility patient transfer services through the BC Ambulance Service and the BC Patient Transfer Service. BCEHS is supported by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). For more information, please visit www.bcehs.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_EHS. The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
BCEHS Communications Officer
Phone: 604.660.2968 or PHSA Media Line: 778.867.7472