Better pay needed for rural ambulance workers, committee says

  • Mar. 21, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The remuneration for on-call ambulance attendants is not enough, given the process trainees have to go through and commitment they must make, say Moresby Island Management Committee members. Ambulance drivers get $2 an hour for an on-call 12 hour shift, during which time they can’t drink or be further than eight minutes from the station. If they get called out, they make $14 an hour, said committee member Emmy O’Gorman at the March 10 MIMC meeting. “How on earth are we going to get people to join ambulance when this is what they get?” she said. She brought the matter up based on an action item on MIMC’s to do list. She didn’t want the committee to mislead people into taking a “crap” job. The training is expensive and is paid for by the would-be ambulance attendants, as are the medical exams one has to take. She said the BC Ambulance Services website is very vague about the training commitments for new recruits, but the more you get into it, the more commitments you have to make. Another MIMC member who works for the ambulance agrees. “It’s a huge commitment and they don’t tell you that,” said Kristi Schmitz. She has spent 10 years in the ambulance service and said she wouldn’t be the right person to talk to about it if anyone is considering the career. “You put out a lot and don’t get much back,” she said of the on-call model the BC Ambulance. “I’m not going to sell you on it.” She did all the training to become a full-fledged paramedic, but lost her licence because she didn’t go out on enough calls. She said she would have to take three weeks off her full-time wage earning job to re-certify. “I can’t justify that,” she said. Other committee members were upset by a meeting with BC Ambulance officials before Christmas. “Small town BC is being kicked and kicked,” said committee member Robert Chisholm. He said Sandspit residents were told that they’d lose their ambulance if they didn’t get more recruits. “On the other hand $2 for ambulance is better than nothing for the volunteer fire department,” he said. “Small town BC has to be different. This cookie cutter approach is great for the city but sucks for the rest of us,” said Ms O’Gorman.

Just Posted

In Pictures: Expression Sessions hangs ten

Wave gods smile on the 10th edition of the Haida Gwaii surf festival

Haida Gwaii Sea Cadets set sail

Some young salts joined the Remembrance Day parade in Queen Charlotte last… Continue reading

Rough seas delay Prince Rupert/Haida Gwaii ferry

Northern Expedition is expected to leave Prince Rupert for Haida Gwaii at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 13

In Pictures: Remembrance Day in Queen Charlotte

Drums, bells and bagpipes sounded across Haida Gwaii this Remembrance Day, which… Continue reading

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Most Read