Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
Potentially deadly ambulance delays concern B.C. mayor

July 17, 2013, Stewart, B.C. – The mayor of the remote northwestern B.C. community of Stewart says it's unacceptable that residents face a potentially life-threatening wait of over three hours for an ambulance.

July 17, 2013
By The Canadian Press

July 17, 2013, Stewart, B.C. – The mayor of the remote northwestern B.C. community of Stewart says it's unacceptable that residents face a potentially life-threatening wait of over three hours for an ambulance.

Galina Durant says every week, from midnight Sunday until 1 p.m. on Monday, local ambulance service is unavailable in Stewart.

She says the nearest ambulance must come from Terrace, about 300 kilometres to the south, and the delays in winter can be even longer because the road linking the two communities is often closed by avalanches.

According to Durant, the BC Ambulance Service only pays for one paramedic, eight hours per week, in the District of about 500 residents.

Advertisment

Volunteers, who must leave other jobs to attend an emergency, provide the remainder of the service.

Stewart says a petition is now circulating in Stewart, demanding improved ambulance coverage, and Stikine New Democrat MLA Doug Donaldson has promised to discuss the matter with Health Minister Terry Lake.