Local paramedics and members of the local community celebrated a bigger and better BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) station Saturday on Denman Island.
“Many of our paramedics spend a lot of time at the station between calls, so having a comfortable space to recharge is important to their well-being and supports the provision of efficient and effective pre-hospital patient care,” said unit chief Joy Lance.
“The new ambulance station will make it easier for paramedics to upgrade their skills, which will lead to improved patient care for residents and visitors on Denman Island,” said Comox Valley MLA and Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae.
The station is a 1,404-square-foot modular structure that serves as the crew quarters and a 1,122-square-foot Quonset hut vehicle bay, one of only two in the province.
Quonset huts are fabricated, temperature-controlled buildings that can be easily assembled on site. Previously, the station was based out of a smaller, rented facility.
“The crews and the community are beyond happy with the station,” Lance said. “The increased space affords us the opportunity to concentrate on providing high-quality emergency medical services for our patients.”
The new crew quarters includes rest areas, a kitchen, an office, bathrooms, storage space and a training area. The temperature-controlled vehicle bay also has a storage area and a sink, which makes it easier for paramedics to restock and clean the ambulance as well as respond to calls quicker in the colder months.
Denman Island is 22 kilometres southeast of Courtenay and is home to approximately 1,050 permanent residents. The station employs 10 paramedics and works closely with the Denman Island Volunteer Fire Department and BC Ferries to provide consistent pre-hospital patient care throughout the community.
Last year, Denman Island paramedics responded to 119 calls, 71 of which required an emergency lights and siren response.
BCAS operates under the authority of BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) to provide residents and health-care professionals with access to pre-hospital emergency and patient transfer services.
BCEHS also oversees the Patient Transfer Network and Trauma Services BC.
BCAS is recruiting paramedics in many rural communities throughout the province. Visit www.bcas.ca for more information about employment opportunities.
— BC Ambulance Service