CBC (Jan 26) Stressed Nanaimo region set to double number of paramedics, shorten wait times

B.C. Emergency Health Services is bringing an influx of first responders to the mid-Island region, creating 30 full-time paramedic positions in response to the area's high number of patient transfers and its volume of 911 calls.

Nanaimo will have 24 new full-time paramedics, doubling its current capacity. Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith will each receive two full time positions, bringing the total number of paramedics in the region to 60. Three ambulances are also being added to the region.
New paramedics for stressed communities

Linda Lupini, executive vice president of B.C. Emergency Health Services, said Nanaimo is one of the first regions in the province to benefit from the BCEHS action plan. In late 2017, Vancouver received 18 new paramedics under the same plan.

"Residents of these communities should really notice a better response time," Lupini told All Points West host Jason D'Souza.

In addition to new full-time staff, Lupini said the BCEHS plan has analyzed peak call times in order to match crews to when they are most needed.

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Many of the new positions will be filled by current on-call, part-time paramedics already working in Nanaimo.

Cameron Eby, the president of the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., CUPE 873, said it's also a chance to bring trained paramedics who have moved to other regions for full-time work back to the mid-Island.

"Those people are looking forward to getting back home," said Eby.
Changes possible across B.C.

The union is hoping the new capacity will not only improve wait-times but also decrease burnout, an issue Eby said is facing paramedics across B.C.

"There's a similar need in just about every community in the province," Eby said.

The positions are expected to be filled by late March.

Nanaimo is just one of the communities that may see an increase in staffing. According to Lupini, BCEHS is looking at communities across the province, including Kelowna and Kamloops, to see which communities are most in need of more resources.

"As we go through the analysis, we'll know whether or not we have to create more full time jobs," said Lupini.

Listen to the full interview with Linda Lupini on All Points West:

To view the original article, click here.

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