BC Paramedics and Dispatchers Address Climate Change

Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC announce Environmental Awareness Committee in celebration of Earth Day.

VANCOUVER, B.C., April 22, 2018 – The Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC are proud to announce the creation of an Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Committee.  The purpose of the committee is to develop and propose solutions to help reduce their carbon and environmental footprint in the workplace and as a profession.

As part of a series of resolutions passed by The Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC, they have formally recognized the scientific consensus that the Earth’s climate system is changing, and those changes are predominantly human caused. 

Cameron Eby, Provincial President of the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC, states “as professionals charged with the care and wellbeing of others, it only makes sense that we do our part to minimize our impact on the environment and ensure we protect our climate from global change for future generations.”

David Hollingworth, a local Vancouver paramedic, was the author of 5 resolutions that he submitted to the Ambulance Paramedics of BC titled TEAR (The Electric Ambulance Resolutions) – all of which were successfully adopted.  Hollingsworth’s resolutions were formally endorsed by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and shared by the David Suzuki Foundation on social media. In addition to the creation of the Environmental Awareness and Climate Change Committee, the resolutions include lobbying the British Columbia Emergency Health Services (the provider of ambulance service in BC) to sign the West Coast Fleet Pledge and to explore the possibility of implementing an Electric Ambulance Pilot Project.

The first electric hybrid ambulance in Canada was produced in 2017 by Crestline Coach for Oxford County in Ontario. Crestline estimates that their hybrid system will help fleets increase fuel economy by 25% and reduce fuel costs by 20%.[1] “If we can reduce our carbon footprint, and save money while doing so, we need to consider the options available” says Eby.

Hollingworth states “Just as hospitals were among the first institutions to ban smoking, it is fitting that health care professionals are among the first to formally recognize the threat of climate change and air pollution. In 2008, a Canadian Medical Association report estimated that Canada would suffer 21,000 premature deaths, and an economic cost of $8 billion due to air pollution, for that year. In 2015, The Lancet, [a medical journal] described the response to climate change as, ‘the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century’. Considering this, it is pragmatic that health authorities limit the amount of air pollution they create, and try to influence others to do the same. I could not be prouder of my colleagues for supporting these resolutions. We have shown great leadership for this most important cause, and have delivered BCEHS an opportunity to bring about significant positive change.”

About Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC:

Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of British Columbia is the union organization that represents the 4,500+ Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of the province of British Columbia, Canada. Please visit www.apbc.ca and www.911bc.com for more information.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Cameron Eby, Provincial President

Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC

cameron.eby(at)apbc.ca

(604) 815-7689

 

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[1]   “Crestline and Oxford County announce Canada’s first hybrid ambulance,” Crestline Coach, August 3, 2017, http://crestlinecoach.com/company/news/news08031701.aspx.

 

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