Critical issues with ambulance operations

The critical life-saving window is eight minutes and if Sooke’s ambulances are responding to calls in the West Shore, someone could die.

As of June 1, the two ambulances operating out of Colwood will be pressed into service in Victoria, which means Sooke’s ambulances will have to be called upon leaving Sooke without ambulance service.

“For protective services this is a big risk,” said Mayor Janet Evans. “Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Sooke have concerns with putting out our trucks to cover Victoria.”

Evans said that our fire department, as first responders, cannot do any intervention until ambulance crews arrive and that could mean waits of 35 minutes.

“Maybe we should bill BC Ambulance for the 35 minute wait,” said Evans.

The issue is an important one and Evans will be asking Shawn Carby, executive director for BC Ambulance on Vancouver Island, to attend a council or committee of the whole meeting to explain the rationale for the dispatch reassignment.

“Council needs to hear both sides and he (Carby) has to hear how concerned we are. We need public input,” said Evans.

Carby is saying that this is a 90-day trial and will be reviewed after that time.

Between January and April Station 107 Sooke handled 669 calls for service. The calls included everything from falls (74), sick persons (79), assault/sexual assault (21) and overdose/poisoning (28).