VANCOUVER — Premier John Horgan says British Columbia has made a “significant investment” in rural and remote ambulance services, including ground and air transportation options, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says the government is working with firefighters as well as the paramedics union to ensure first responders have adequate training so they are able to act quickly during what he called “extraordinarily challenging times.”
Horgan’s comments come after an infant in Barriere, B.C., reportedly died waiting for an ambulance, prompting Mayor Ward Stamer to call for flexibility around which first responders are allowed to take patients to hospital.
Troy Clifford, president of Ambulance Paramedics of BC, has said his organization would continue to address what he called a “provincewide staffing crisis.”
Clifford says the staffing woes have left communities like Barriere without appropriate ambulance coverage for long periods of time.
Horgan told reporters Tuesday that the ambulance service is reviewing the circumstances that led to the reported death of the infant, and that his “heart goes out to the family who are grieving the loss of a child.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2022.