The available ambulance was 50 km from the village. (Archives)
A resident of Ashcroft, west of Kamloops, British Columbia, died Sunday of a heart attack while waiting for an ambulance which took more than 30 minutes to arrive, even if the ambulance station is within sight of his home.
The man, whose name authorities have not released, is dead a month after a woman who lived not far from him also died of a heart attack when the only ambulance on duty was also about half an hour away.
Ashcroft Mayor Barbara Roden says she feels anger, frustration and deep sadness for the elderly man's family and friends.
“It was just a terrible coincidence to have these two events taking place so close to each other. […] There are a lot of people in the community who are really nervous, wondering what is going on [and] what is wrong.
—Barbara Roden, Mayor of Ashcroft
When the available ambulance was 50 kilometers north of the village, a 35-minute journey, the fire chief decided to go to the man, even though the firefighters are all volunteers and not trained as first responders. medical staff.
He intended to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation with an automated external defibrillator, since he was trained in first aid.
Firefighters arrived to perform resuscitation on the man, but when the ambulance arrived at the man's home, he was dead, the mayor said.
She feels that volunteer firefighters shouldn't be doing the job of paramedics because they don't have the training.
British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) Chief Paramedic Leanne Heppell said the man had to wait for an ambulance from Clinton because paramedics locals were all already in intervention.
She assures that most of the permanent paramedic positions have been filled, but also says that she recruits on-call personnel to make replacements in the event of illness.< /p>
Troy Clifford, president of the BC Paramedics Union, believes that in order to address the issues of long wait times for ambulance services, the BCEHS should activate secondary ambulances and provide better pay for occasional paramedics.
In the meantime, while the province and the BCEHS try to solve the problem, Troy Clifford recommends that people follow first aid training e to help potential neighbors in need while waiting for help.
Based on information from Doug Herbert, Marcella Bernardo, Winston Szeto and the show BC Today