September 09, 2013 at 5:48 PM
Stewart Ambulance Worker Recruitment Efforts Unsuccessful
Mayor Wants Help From Provincial Government
Recruitment efforts were unsuccessful last weekend at a meeting for the district of Stewart's struggling on-call ambulance service.
Mayor Galina Durant says officials from BC Ambulance attended, offering immediate training courses in town in an effort to speed up the recruitment process. But Durant says they weren't able to recruit a single new worker as the job isn't attractive to some based on its pay and inconsistent workload.
"We are a small community. We are an aged community. We don't have too many young people here. In reality what is offered to us, it's a very low-paying job, and people just can't afford to live on it," she said. "We don't have enough volume of calls to make a living. It means most of the time you should be on call and get $2 an hour, and I understand this kind of job needs passion and it's servicing your community, but you have to make a living also."
Durant says they currently have six on-call ambulance workers, but five of those are drivers and only one is an ambulance attendant. She says the next step is meeting with the Minister of Health at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention next week.
She added that she's worried what will happen if the problem isn't fixed before the snowfall.
"I'm really worried right now because it's the winter season ahead of us, and winter in Stewart means there's very heavy snow, there's road closures, there are avalances, and it really concerns me," she said.