Only 4,400 Ambulance Paramedics to RESPOND TO 4.9 million people in BC.

THAT'S A PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH CRISIS.

Critically understaffed and in danger of collapsing.

The last few years have been challenging for Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC – from dealing with an ongoing opioid public health emergency and a pandemic to environmental disasters and a tragic heat wave. The demand for ambulance paramedic services has skyrocketed and British Columbia’s Ambulance Paramedics and dispatchers are struggling to hold the line and keep up with the intense pressure.

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Critically understaffed and in danger of collapsing.

The last few years have been challenging for Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC – from dealing with an ongoing opioid public health emergency and a pandemic to environmental disasters and a tragic heat wave. The demand for ambulance paramedic services has skyrocketed and British Columbia’s Ambulance Paramedics and dispatchers are struggling to hold the line and keep up with the intense pressure.

“Thirty per cent of our paramedics are either off on workplace psychological injuries or are in treatment through our Clinical Incident Stress Management program seeing a psychologist or a mental health professional,” said President, Ambulance Paramedics of BC, Troy Clifford.

Burnout and mental health issues are hitting ambulance first responders worse than ever before, leading to a critical staff shortage and longer wait times for citizens in need of Emergency Medical Care and transport. This is a public safety and health crisis; people’s lives hang in the balance. While Ambulance Paramedics and dispatchers are doing their best to respond to every medical emergency, the staff shortage makes it extremely difficult to respond to everyone in an appropriate amount of time. The inability to help someone when they need it has an adverse effect on ambulance first responders, causing psychological injuries that necessitate time-off to heal, in turn leading to further staff shortages.

“When we can’t do our best, that’s a morale and psychological injury,” said Clifford. “Because of system failure, bureaucracy, or operational stressors, not because we can’t treat the patient. So, when we see a call holding or we’re in a hospital on a holding pattern waiting to drop off a patient and we know there are serious calls holding. Somebody’s loved one is waiting for an ambulance.” he added.

As it stands, on any given day across BC there are ambulances sitting empty while demand keeps rising. A key contributor is the fact that Ambulance Paramedics and dispatchers in British Columbia are paid 30% lesser than other public safety first responders and health professionals. Currently, there are hundreds of unfilled positions, but low wages and poor benefits are making it harder to find new recruits and retain Paramedics and dispatchers. Emergency Medical Care in British Columbia is in danger of collapsing and something needs to change now – before it’s too late.

We’re #SoundingTheAlarm, Ambulance Paramedics of BC urgently needs your help. Talk to your elected representatives, sign the petition so that British Columbia’s Ambulance Paramedics and dispatchers can have the resources they need to respond to all 911 calls without delay. So that you and your loved ones can get the emergency medical care you need, when you need it most. So that no life gets left behind.