BC Emergency Health Services has deployed a Major Incident Rapid Response Team, based out of Vancouver, to Fort St. James Wednesday, Dec. 9, to help deal with 60-plus COVID-19 positive cases in the community of roughly 1,500. (BC Emergency Health Services photo)

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed a Major Incident Rapid Response Team, based out of Vancouver, to Fort St. James Wednesday, Dec. 9, to help deal with 60-plus COVID-19 positive cases in the community of roughly 1,500. (BC Emergency Health Services photo)

B.C.’s rapid response paramedics arrive in Fort St. James as district reaches 60 COVID-19 cases

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to Fort St. James

With 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a community of roughly 1,500, BC Emergency Health Services has deployed a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to Fort St. James Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The specialized team, based out of Vancouver, will support local paramedics and patients in the community and was developed as part of BC EHS’s COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. This is the first time the team has been deployed, a BC EHS spokesperson said.

The secondary role of the team will be to provide clinical site support at Stuart Lake General Hospital as requested by the Northern Health Authority and local health professionals.

“A highly-trained paramedic team is the ideal response to this small community with 60 plus COVID-19 positive patients and where there is only a small acute care facility,” the BC EHS spokesperson said.

“We are also there to support our own paramedic staff who have been on the front lines responsing to extremely high call volumes: 33 calls in six days.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s earliest COVID-19 vaccines go to health care workers first

The team will be made up of two critical care paramedics, one advanced care paramedic and a primary care paramedic, BC EHS said, and will be deployed for two to a maximum of four days, depending on the situation. If needed, a secondary relief team will be deployed to relieve the initial paramedics.

“Critical Care Paramedics are the highest level of paramedic with a focus on air medical response,” the BC EHS spokesperson said.

The community of Fort St. James, located roughly 160 kilometres west of Prince George, and the surrounding region has seen a rising number of exposures and positive cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks.

School District 91’s (Nechako Lakes) David Hoy elementary in Fort St. James reported a positive COVID-19 case on Nov. 30, Dec. 1.

At Fort St. James Secondary School, an exposure was reported from Nov. 20-26, and at the independent Nak’albun Elementary School another COVID-19 exposure was reported from Nov. 22-25.

READ MORE: Mink on Chilliwack farm test positive for COVID-19 virus

Both School District 91 schools remain open. A letter, meanwhile, was sent home to parents on Dec. 7 from Northern Health stating the risk of additional COVID-19 cases was low.

On Dec. 4, Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief Aileen Prince issued a two-week shutdown of the Indigenous community, located adjacent to Fort St. James.

“It’s time to get serious,” Prince said in a video posted on Facebook. “Please. It’s the only way we can get a handle on this … We cannot afford to risk more of our people.”

On Dec. 1, Northern Health also issued a notice of a potential exposure to COVID-19 at The Key Resource Centre and The Cold Weather Shelter in Fort St. James between Nov. 12-25.



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusNorthern Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

The colourful Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly has been reintroduced on Hornby Island, BC. Photo courtesy the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project.
Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project releases more caterpillars on Hornby Island

Chris Junck Special to Black Press The number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies… Continue reading

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read