The highly-trained front-line paramedics and dispatchers at BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) provide pre-hospital emergency services and inter-facility patient transfers throughout the province.
- BCEHS was recognized for excellence by Accreditation Canada in 2015. This was the organization’s first time in the health service accreditation program, it met 88 per cent of all criteria. One of the strengths noted by Accreditation Canada was excellence in care at the practitioner and patient level.
- BCEHS has the only critical care paramedic team in the world that provides emergency care to three distinct patient groups: pediatric, neo-natal and high-risk obstetric patients. Known as the Infant Transport Team, this highly trained group of paramedics provide care while en route to hospitals throughout BC, other parts of Canada, and the United States. The team marked 40 years of service in 2016.
- BC was the first province in Canada to implement a province-wide community paramedicine program. In BC, community paramedicine is intended primarily for rural and remote communities that are sometimes underserved and have aging populations living with chronic and complex diseases. The program objectives are to help stabilize paramedic staffing in these communities, and bridge health service delivery gaps identified in collaboration with local health care teams. While other provinces have introduced community paramedicine in communities or health facilities, BC is the first to do so on a province-wide basis.
- BC is among North America’s best when it comes to survival rates for patients who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In a US and Canadian study, BC’s survival rate of 16 per cent is tied with America’s best, Seattle. BCEHS and its health-care partners nearly doubled the rate of survival during a 10-year period, by implementing evidenced-based best practices and improving the following:
- Teaching community CPR and AED programs to improve the rate of bystander CPR and bystander defibrillation before paramedics arrive
- High-performance CPR and advanced airway management techniques for all paramedics
- Telephone coaching of CPR techniques to bystanders by BCEHS dispatchers
- Enhancing all links in the chain of survival (see https://resuscitation.heartandstroke.ca/guidelines/chain_of_survival)