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

Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduate Nina Bumstead. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Grad ceremony proceeds, with a twist

Red carpet outside works out well for Chemainus Secondary’s Class of 2021

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Chemainus street signs now contain Hul’qumi’num translations, like this one at the corner of Willow and Legion Streets. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Street signs go up in the Hul’qumi’num language

Chemainus intersections feature direct translations

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

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

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Most Read