Skip to content

Ambulance system needs an overhaul

‘I live in trepadation of ever needing an ambulance,’ says letter writer


On Global News today, I watched Mr. Ditchburn, the head of the Firefighters Union vs. Ms. MacKinnon of BC Health who apologized recently for not hearing that the heat wave we are having should allow paramedics a water bottle and relaxed attire.

Though seeming to care Ms. Mckinnon used COVID and the opioid problems as an excuse for four hour and longer waits for ambulances in B.C. He used strong language in disclaiming this and said the system is a mess. I’m on his side.

My cousin Jack died recently but peacefully of cancer in Hope Hospital. Getting there was another story.

In late May he drove himself there about a mile while in agony. He was told the ambulance would pick him up at 9 that morning and was ready at 8:30. When the phone rang they didn’t get to it and I assume they decided not to come if it was them. I tried to complain but BC Health online tells you to talk to the local people involved. Good luck trying to reach anybody by email or phone.

I got no results trying to leave a message let alone talking to anyone.

Recently, my neighbour’s call for a heart attack victim was finally attended to after 40 minutes by the Boston Bar ambulance service. We are a mile from Hope Ambulance and Fire Dept on Water Avenue.

About a month ago when a house caught on fire in Hope downtown, I called when flames started but nothing came for a time because the call goes to Chilliwack, etc. If local department had come it would have taken five minutes.

There are 400 job postings for the ambulance service. We need people and we need a new system. I live in trepadation of ever needing an ambulance and others should as well given the dreadful circumstances where firefighters have been doing paramedics’ jobs for years.

I’ve seen that for years the problem has persisted. The time to change the whole system has come!

Ruth Renwick