Primary Care Observation

1111 Words 4 Pages
I am currently employed as a Primary Care Paramedic by BC Ambulance service. I 'm writing anonymously with the aid of my coworkers to discuss concerns about working conditions as a part-time employee. There have been some interest in the public recently* regarding response times of ambulance paramedics to 911 calls, including some on the mainland which resulted in death*. In both of these circumstances, paramedics were blamed for not responding promptly. As a result, we are now being very closely monitored* by BCEHS and questioned about any delays. A delay over 90 seconds between the time a call comes in to when the ambulance is departs is considered worth investigation . If we go over, we meet disciplinary action depending on our explanation for delay.

To the public this would seem reasonable and even necessary, but this is not the reason I am writing. I am writing because as a part-time paramedic who regularly works 60-70 hours a week, this expectation is unreasonable. The cases on the mainland that resulted in fatalities are being blamed on the part-time “kilo” crew responding from home as locals. For this service they are paid 2$ an hour*. This is generally a 10-20 minute response time to the station after the pager goes off, and any additional time to
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Instead, we drive to work 1-2 hours away, to wait for shifts of up to 14 hours overnight. This takes us away from our families and homes, and as a result sometimes extending the 14 hour shift to a “back-to-back” shift lasting up to 38 hours. More often than not, these shifts are accepted in hopes of increasing our chances of making a living. Sometimes this practice causes the an ambulance to go down due to paramedic fatigue, and one less resource is able to respond to your emergency as a

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