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Fully staffed, 24/7 ambulance to be added to Salmon Arm emergency services

Expansion from on-call to full-time ambulance predicted to add 8 permanent, full-time jobs
An on-call ambulance for Salmon Arm will be converted to a full-time, 24/7 vehicle, adding eight full-time jobs, said BC Emergency Health Services in a Sept. 14, 2022 letter. (Black Press file photo)

Salmon Arm council received good news regarding ambulances and paramedics recently.

Council learned that an on-call ambulance in Salmon Arm will be converted to a fully staffed 24/7 ambulance. The conversion will mean eight new permanent full-time positions in the community, according to a Sept. 14 letter to council from BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS).

Coun. Debbie Cannon expressed her appreciation.

“It’s exciting news getting one more ambulance added to our community. What’s exciting is when we were at UBCM (the Union of BC Municipalities conference), we had that information given to us. It’s great news.”

Mayor Alan Harrison agreed the fully staffed ambulance is much needed.

“At UBCM there’s lots of relationship building that goes on there, so that’s a plus for us,” he added.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren, who works in the field, said for paramedics to be able to work a regular shift and get paid, “that’s a very significant piece.”

The BCEHS letter said the Salmon Arm improvement is part of increased funding for rural areas.

“Going forward, we are pleased to announce that your community is one of 31 communities that will be receiving more permanent full-time paramedic resources. More than half of these communities will see many of their on-call ambulances and associated paramedic positions converted to full-time regular resources. This will create more permanent jobs in these communities and will help stabilize our paramedic staffing, which in turn will improve responsiveness and emergency coverage. Today’s news means BCEHS is adding 208 full-time positions to the provincial ambulance service in rural areas.”

The letter also said a BCEHS rep will be able to discuss the changes in more detail once the timing of job postings and hiring details is confirmed.

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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