Two years later Vernon, B.C. Leaving Advanced Life Support Unit – Okanagan IG News

IG news Update,

An Advanced Life Support Unit serving the Vernon area will no longer be an available option to assist residents.

The unit provided an extra level of care for the communities around the area. Paramedics staffed by units can respond to seriously injured and unstable patients who require advanced procedures in the field.

However, a recent decision has quietly moved the unit further north.

An advanced care supportive medical unit was launched in April 2020 as part of a temporary contract with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS). The contract covers 55 ground ambulances and five air ambulances across the province.

The contract expired a few months ago and many of these resources have been moved.

“It was well received, well utilized in Vernon. They began a process of working with us and in September they became a permanent resource and were selected to be moved to BCEHS,” said B.C. said Troy Clifford, provincial president of the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers.

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Vernon’s Advanced Care Paramedic Unit was moved out of the area following a resource review by BCEHS.

BCEHS communications officer Cindy Leong stated, “Vernon’s ACP resource was transferred to Salmon Arm because, as an urban center, Vernon, upon further review, does not meet the requirements under RRIF funding for the resource.” was.”

“However, the corridor connected to Salmon Arm and the surrounding area fits the criteria, especially because many cases have somewhat longer transport times to the hospital.”

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The unit adds high-level care to the community and is needed in Salmon Arm, however, Clifford says that doesn’t mean Vernon should be left out.

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“For many years we’ve been saying that Vernon is a community that warrants advanced life support,” Clifford said.

“It is really disappointing that the funds were not there to keep that unit there and they chose to move it to Salmon Arm. Salmon Arm absolutely needed one but not at the expense of Vernon.

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Clifford says the move not only increases response times to hospital admissions but remote and Indigenous communities will be most affected.

“I understand there’s a funding problem, but we need resources in the province right now. Vernon needs exactly that high level of acuity, so our hope is they’ll restore that,” Clifford said.

BCEHS says the move has nothing to do with labor shortages, as Vernon is not currently facing any staffing challenges. And the relocation may not be permanent.

“Vernon will be reconsidered as resources are further reviewed as part of BCEHS’s overall strategic plan,” Leong said.

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