Member Update – Evolving State of Emergency & Flooding

November 15, 2021

Dear Members,

Current Evolving State of Emergency and Flooding

Inconceivable rainfall and flooding have led to an evolving critical state of emergency. Communities, our service and many of our members and their families particularly in the Fraser Valley and Southern Interior are severely impacted by this developing crisis and a large-scale multi-agency emergency response and rescue has been initiated. We have unknown numbers of impacted people cut-off or trapped in vehicles as well as homes and structures impacted. Many routes have been closed off, evacuation alerts and orders have been issued. We are seeing homes and structures lost, and looming potential of increased risk to communities. Our thoughts are with all those personally impacted by this progressing emergency and devastation, and we are prepared to support them however we can. 

I have reached out on behalf of APBC to BCEHS senior leadership to ensure they have our support and assistance, and to seek updates on their emergency response, preparedness, and capacity. I am advised BCEHS has activated the Emergency Coordination Centre. We know dispatchers, paramedics, support, paramedic specialists and mangers have been on the ground and responding. I have been receiving regular updates overnight and today. We have APBC/BCEHS members deployed as part of the HUSAR team.

We know that our members are affected, both those that live and work in the affected communities and those that use the routes to commute to their workplaces. Any members that may be impacted by the flooding and critical situation should reach out to their Unit Chief or Manager as applicable for further direction. We have encouraged BCEHS leadership to address these to support impacted staff to minimize impacts and potentially redeploy/support those stranded or affected.

If you are working, please ensure your home and family is supported and prepared. Have go bags with you for basic necessities at work and home and practice diligence with safety, risk assessments, emergency preparedness and wellness.

A reminder too that our Critical Incident Stress Management program is available to provide additional support to any of our members, and anyone needing it is asked to please reach out any time, 24/7.

Times like this more than ever we need to stay connected and reach out if you or someone needs support. If you or a colleague needs support, please reach out. To be proactive with your mental health or if you or someone you know is struggling, please call your CISM Team 1-855-969-4321 or Homewood Health 1-800-663-1142.

Thanks to all those who have and can take on additional shifts to respond to this emergency or enable those employees personally impacted to focus on their families and their personal situations. We greatly appreciate your offers to assist your colleagues during this challenging time.

On behalf of your APBC Executive Board and leadership.

Take care and stay safe,

Troy Clifford
Provincial President
Ambulance Paramedics of BC
CUPE Local 873

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