October 06, 2011 at 3:07 PM
In response to this article: http://taxpayer.com/british-columbia/bc-can-do-more-less-air-ambulance-service
I would like to clarify the roles of our BC Flight Paramedics, who provide air ambulance services in British Columbia. BC Paramedics who work in our specialized air ambulance services are trained to either the Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) or Infant Transport Team (ITT) level. Both of these certifications requires years of intense education in both the hospital and field environment. With 56 licensed Critical Paramedics and 26 Infant Transport Team Paramedics, our Paramedics provide a service unmatched in Canada. In fact, the BCAS’s ITT crews are the only full Paramedic based infant and pediatric specialized team in the world.
British Columbia’s Air Ambulance service model allows for one provider (BCAS) to transport critical patients from every corner of the province into centralized specialty care, using both helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, while maintaining critical care from a single team of Paramedics. Our BC Paramedic flight teams literally bring the specialty care of Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital intensive care units to the doorstep of every British Columbian. STARS operation in Alberta simply does not provide this level of service.
BC Paramedics responded to 7,732 events in 2010-2011, for a total expenditure of $43 million dollars. In Alberta, air ambulance cost a total of $57 million, while they responded to 1,000 less events than in British Columbia. What this means is BC Paramedics literally do more, for less.
The fact is that BC Air Ambulance services are among the best in the Canada. Our BC Paramedics are some of the highest trained in the world. Is this a service model that British Columbians really want to trade for a fragmented, STARS incorporated model? I think not.
A/ President – Ambulance Paramedics Of BC