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

Kevin Fowler of Abbotsford won almost $57,000 in the Lotto 6/49 drawn from Aug. 15. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford man wins almost $57K in Lotto 6/49

Kevin Fowler matches five out of six numbers, using dog’s age and other numbers

Everett Silvertips’ Gage Gonclaves fights with Spokane Chiefs’ Filip Kral for the puck during the game on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mission’s Gage Goncalves invited to Hockey Canada’s World Juniors selection camp

Goncalves was recently drafted to the NHL in the 2nd round by the Tampa Bay Lightning

Mission firefighters in the process of hooking up a hose to a fire hydrant across the street. The fire was extinguished before it was needed. Patrick Penner photo.
Mission firefighters respond to house fire on Ferndale Avenue

Emergency scanners reported flames shooting out of bedroom window

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:56 a.m., Oct. 29.
TRAFFIC: Westbound Highway 1 crash between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Left lane is blocked, traffic backed up to No. 3 Road

Staff at Lowe’s Canada stores contributed more than $2.1 million to charities across the nation through their Heroes Campaign. In Abbotsford and Mission, three charities received a total of more than $25,000. (Submitted photo)
Lowe’s Canada donates more than $25K to 3 local charities

Funds will support non-profits in Abbotsford and Mission

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read