Town opposes paramedic work download

“We deal with this with our own fire department, with medical aid assists. There is no way to recoup those costs."

Tim McGonigle

Lake Cowichan council is watching with interest a situation emerging in the Municipality of Delta in which Delta is training their own firefighters as emergency medical responders.

The Ambulance Paramedics of BC, CUPE Local 873, had written to the Town of Lake Cowichan and other municipalities expressing concern about a “download of the ambulance services in the making” as changes to provincial emergency regulations could see municipalities providing more emergency services from within the ranks of their fire departments.

The letter came to the Oct. 27 meeting of Lake Cowichan town council.

Coun. Tim McGonigle was the first to respond to the subject, climbing, as he said, onto his own soapbox, because it’s a subject he himself and other councillors have raised on several occasions.

“We deal with this with our own fire department, with medical aid assists. There is no way to recoup those costs,” he said.

The August report from the Lake Cowichan Fire Department showed that its members had been called out on “medical aid” (which usually means assisting paramedics) on five occasions.

Answering those calls meant the dispatch of from 11 to 17 volunteer firefighters and the cost of those call-outs ranged from $204.02 to $295.62.

McGonigle said he supported the decision of the Lake Cowichan Volunteer Fire Department not to be counted as “first responders”, unlike some fire departments around the Cowichan Lake area.

“I give kudos to them for not doing that, so as to enhance the value of our ambulance service. Otherwise, I think we would have lost that long ago,” he said.

He said that, in his opinion, moves like this were similar to other downloading decisions that have been made by higher levels of government.

“This no different than municipalities taking on responsibilities [outside their usual mandate], because they embraced them, because they saw a need,” McGonigle said, adding he hoped the paramedics came to some reasonable agreement with Delta on the worrying problem.

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘My Funny Valentine’ delves into effect of tragedy

When a teenage boy is killed for an innocent question, the answers are hard to take

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Re/Max of Duncan under new ownership

Former owner Cordell Ensign retiring

Ravens scrape together a championship team

BSB’s Haslam named league MVP

VIDEO: Ken Calder, Tony Feltrin honoured on Heritage Sports Wall of Fame

With stories, and a few laughs over old stories, two new names are added to the Lake Cowichan wall

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Marine trail planned for Discovery Islands

Agreements with First Nations vital for passage through traditional territories

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Police watchdog called to Kelowna after car destroyed in crash

A motor vehicle incident has closed Highway 33 in both directions

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

8 B.C. communities rank as the friendliest in Canada

Eight B.C. communities can claim they are the friendliest in the country.

Most Read