B.C. emergency officials defend 9-1-1 response times

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

Emergency officials are defending changes to how ambulance crews respond to 9-1-1 calls, rejecting claims that patients are being put at risk or are being made to wait significantly longer for medical help.

By downgrading many types of routine or “comfort” calls, ambulances are able to respond more quickly to critically ill patients, and are making roads safer for other drivers because lights and sirens are being used less often, said B.C. Emergency Health Services board chairman Wynne Powell.

“We are reallocating the resources we have to get to the sickest patients first. It’s the same number of paramedics and the same number of ambulances, (but) we’re just doing it in a more appropriate fashion,” Powell said on Tuesday.

Kim Pemberton Reports

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