Paramedics need help to help patients

Dear editor,

I am a paramedic working for the BC Ambulance Service.

Dear editor,

I am a paramedic working for the BC Ambulance Service.

For fear of disciplinary action I must remain anonymous, as our employer has gag orders on us to not speak to the media about the state of the ambulance service.

I, like most paramedics, am passionate about my work. We have to be, due to lack of respect from our employer and the government.

One does not do this job for the money you do it because you love the work. It’s because of this that our employer takes advantage of us daily.

People in B.C. need to know the state which their ambulance service is in. Currently, our upper management is embroiled in a sex scandal, which involves the promotion of some employees.

Our lower-level management have no proper training, care little about the paramedics on the street and manage through threat and intimidation.

We work under constant threat from fire departments wanting to take us over so they can justify their enormous budgets, as their budget is based on call volume and due to fire safety, their calls have dropped. A provincial ambulance has been proven to be the most cost-effective.

Our resources are at an abysmal level. Daily there are no ambulances available to respond to calls and people are forced to wait long periods of time for one to show up.

We get told by our management to just do more with less. Well, we can’t do anymore.

We work 12-hour shifts and with our call volume rising by thousands every year, we have no down time. We start our shifts, leave the station and rarely ever get back till the end of the shift.

We do not get any breaks due to us being an emergency service. As long as there are calls holding we work and there are always calls holding.

Our resources on the street have remained at an almost stagnant level for the past 10 to 12 years, call volume goes up by thousands every year, and the only thing that has really changed is our ranks in management almost being tripled.

Our management has done nothing but create an atmosphere of fear as well as created a very hostile and unsafe work environment. Our employer is concerned with nothing but budget and liability, NOT patient care

At all hours of the day and night we respond to your (the public) calls, whether it be your home, work, the streets and all places in between. We do show up, we do care, but we are also tired and burning out at an alarming rate.

Do not think that while you wait for an ambulance that is taking a long time to show that we are having lunch or coffee or on a break of any kind, it’s just that there no ambulances available to respond.

We come to your aid daily, we are now asking for your help. We need more resources, not more managers.

I ask you, the public, to get on social media, write letters to your city council, your MLA, to the premier. This is your ambulance service. You deserve better service and should not have to wait when you or a loved one is in need of help.

If this letter is printed, my employers’ response will be one of denial, of course. It’s embarrassing to them ad to admit there is a problem means they must fix it.

We, the paramedics, have no power to make a change. Our hands and mouths are tied and gagged and the power is yours to make a difference. We have come to your aid in your time of need for years, now we are asking for your help.

Please, help us in order for us to better help you.

A concerned paramedic


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