The Foulkes Report: 1970
R. G. Foulkes, a physician and hospital administrator, developed the Health Security for British Columbians report for the Minister of Health, a document which identified and attempted to address many of the health care issues existing at the time.
The key recommendation resulting from this report was that the Province of British Columbia should assume responsibility for all privately and municipally operated ambulance services in the province. Specifically, the Foulkes report advised that "the fractionated ambulance services provided by private companies, volunteer agencies and municipal fire departments be amalgamated under one jurisdiction."
Amalgamation of the Ambulance Service: 1974
Following the release of the Foulkes report, the Health Emergency Act (HEA) was proclaimed, establishing the Emergency Health Services Commission (EHSC) as an agent of government. Through the Act, the EHSC was endowed with the legislated mandate to ensure the provision of high quality and consistent levels of pre-hospital emergency medical services throughout the province. Thus, the new provincial BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) was born.
Transition Period: 1974-1980
1974-1980 became known as the transition period, during which time training and patient care standards were established and cross-boundary disputes were eliminated.
This period also saw the implementation of Advanced Life Support units in a number of BC communities as well as the creation of the Infant Transport Team, a specialized paramedic team responsible for providing care to pediatric, neo-natal and high-risk obstetrics patients while en route to specialized care units.
During this time, centralized dispatch/communications centres were also established, the air ambulance service was integrated with the ground ambulances, and BCAS began serving more remote communities that, at one time, had no form of emergency health care.