February 23, 2010 at 4:39 PM
‘Speed up ambulance times’
By Phil Melnychuk - Maple Ridge News
Published: February 23, 2010 2:00 PM
Updated: February 23, 2010 2:46 PM
Maple Ridge council wants to speed up emergency response times and has fired off a letter to Health Minister Kevin Falcon telling him that.
The letter follows a presentation last November by B.C. Ambulance Service superintendent Buck Black during which he said the nine-minute emergency response target is being met only 47 per cent of the time.
The letter from Mayor Ernie Daykin points out the average response time in the district is 11:29 seconds, or 25 per cent longer than the target.
“These statistics are not surprising when considers that the number of ambulances in our municipality has not increased in over 25 years, though our population has doubled over that same period of time.”
It points out that 30 years ago, there were two ambulances that answered emergency calls, the same number answering calls today.
Fire chief Dane Spence reiterated that to the politicians at Monday’s workshop meeting. “There were two emergency response vehicles in the 1980s. There are two emergency response ambulances in this town now.”
Buck, though, told councillors in November that ambulance response time in the core area of Maple Ridge is between six and seven minutes and that covering the rural areas increases the average response time.
Coun. Craig Speirs said it would help if Pitt Meadows council also signed the letter. Daykin said he would talk to Mayor Don MacLean. Average ambulance response time in Pitt Meadows is 13.43 minutes.