General News · 12th August 2021
The Cortes Community Health Association received a reply from BC Emergency Health Services in response to our letter which was published on the Tideline on August 4th. This response letter contained the following information .
“Thank you for your inquiry and for raising your concerns about our staffing model changes. As you may know, the new Scheduled On-Call (SOC) staffing model has had a soft launch in the Vancouver Island region, including some of the Gulf Islands. This move is intended to provide regularly scheduled work for paramedics in our smallest communities, and reduce our reliance on casual, on call staff. As this new staffing model will introduce new and considerable change across the province, we started the inaugural implementation of this new model at a small number of ambulance stations, including the one in your community. This allows BCEHS the opportunity for early evaluation and adjustment as needed. In the case of your community's ambulance station, we're pleased to share that we are adding more permanent regularly scheduled paramedic positions to the Cortes Island station.
We have already begun recruitment for these positions and hope to get three more permanent paramedics in place by November 1, 2021, bringing the total number of regular part-time positions at this station to four. The on-call staff currently supporting your station will continue to do so in addition to the new positions. This change will provide consistent coverage and enhanced services for your community.
Due to the transition period to bring these additional staff into the station, we will be reinstating the Kilo Guarantee for on-call staff on Cortes Island until November 1, 2021 when the additional paramedic positions commence.
Employees impacted by this new enhancement have been contacted and will be supported in determining the right arrangement for their circumstances.
We’re pleased that these additional positions will provide more opportunities for our paramedics, contribute to the evolution and growth of paramedicine in rural and remote areas and will further support the delivery of exceptional patient care. “
It seems that BCEHS quickly realized that their previous plan would not work in smaller communities and will be treating us similarly to the larger communities.