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Ambulance service to be enhanced in three East Kootenay communities

A surge in hiring will enhance ambulance services in communities throughout the province, including three in the East Kootenay.

B.C. Government officials said Fernie and Kimberley will be among 24 ambulance stations that will be converted from on-call paramedic staffing to 24-hour service with eight full-time paramedics.

Meanwhile, 26 smaller stations, including Elkford, will move to a scheduled on-call model as more staff are hired. The regular, permanent paramedic positions will be filled starting on November 1st.

“When we call 911 for help, British Columbians need to feel confident that help is on the way and that it will arrive quickly,” said Dix. “The significant progress made by BC Emergency Health Services over the summer will ensure a more effective ambulance service for patients and families who depend on it. Better support for paramedics and dispatchers will help them do the vital work we count on every day.”

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A total of 85 paramedics will be hired across the province between October and December alongside 30 new dispatchers.

Provincial officials said this is the largest hiring push for the sector in rural and remote areas in the province’s history.

More: Kimberley to retain 24/7 ambulance service (Aug 12, 2021)

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