The addition of two new ambulances in Abbotsford and other changes should help improve response times in Mission.

The addition of two new ambulances in Abbotsford and other changes should help improve response times in Mission.

Ambulance reforms should be ‘good for Mission’ says mayor

The addition of eight ambulances, including two in Abbotsford, and 34 new paramedics into the Lower Mainland should help response times.

The provincial government is adding eight ambulances, including two in Abbotsford, and 34 new paramedics into the Lower Mainland.

It’s a move that should benefit Mission residents, according to Mayor Randy Hawes

He said the new additions – which are part of the major reforms promised by the B.C. government to improve substandard emergency response times – are “good news for Mission.”

“Putting more ambulances into the Lower Mainland, including Abbotsford, means the chances of our ambulances getting called out of this area are reduced,” said Hawes.

The opposite is also true.

“If we need extra ambulances, and they’re in Abbotsford, it doesn’t take them that long to get over here. So that’s a good thing,” added Hawes.

Long ambulance wait times are nothing new in Mission. In April of 2015, council met with representatives from BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) executives and the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. (APBC) union to discuss ambulatory services and wait times of up to 30 minutes and longer.

Hawes said the provincial government has taken a “step in the right direction” to begin addressing these issues. But he said an even larger problem to solve is the amount of time an ambulance is tied up at the hospital.

The new action plan unveiled by B.C. Emergency Health Services addressed that issue, stating the top reform priority is to reduce how long paramedics wait in hospital emergency departments to hand over incoming patients so they can get back on the road. Fraser Health hospitals are expected to be at the forefront of making the necessary ER reforms.

The plan also calls for big changes to how minor emergency calls are handled – more on-the-spot treatment by paramedics or even medical advice by phone is likely rather than the standard practice of an ambulance ride to hospital.

“There are still too many patients waiting too long for an ambulance who need one and there are too many patients receiving an ambulance and a transport to an ED (emergency department) that don’t require it,” said BCEHS executive vice-president Linda Lupini.

Accompanying the plan is an independent review that found it takes an average of 10 minutes and 24 seconds for ambulances to reach life-threatening calls in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria.

A new target of under nine minutes for 75 per cent of those critical calls is being adopted, in line with international standards.

– With files from Jeff Nagel

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road. (RCMP photo)
RCMP asking for help to find missing Chilliwack woman

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Thousands participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read