The Ashcroft ambulance station is one of 31 stations around the province receiving more permanent full-time paramedic positions.
The news was released in a letter signed by Leanne Heppell — Executive Vice-President and Chief Ambulance Officer for BC Emergency Health Services — and dated Sept. 14. It was later confirmed with BCEHS that Ashcroft would be getting four new permanent full-time paramedics.
As of November 2021, staffing at the Ashcroft station was increased to nine full-time positions: enough to fully staff, and provide relief for, a 24/7 Alpha ambulance that operates 365 days a year. The second, or Kilo, ambulance at the station was staffed by on-call employees.
The new positions mean that this Kilo ambulance will become a Bravo ambulance, staffed by the four new full-time paramedics. It will be able to operate 11 hours per day, 365 days a year, with these paramedics; the other 13 hours per day it will continue to be staffed by on-call employees as before.
The letter from Heppell states that the change from on-call to more full-time paramedics will “create more permanent jobs in these communities and will help stabilize our paramedic staffing, which in turn will improve responsiveness and emergency coverage.
“[This] news means BCEHS is adding 208 full-time regular positions to the provincial ambulance service in rural areas. At the ambulance station in [Ashcroft], the on-call daytime ambulance, referred to as a Kilo unit, will be converting to a fully staffed ‘Bravo’ ambulance, which refers to its 11-hour-a-day shift. This new Bravo unit will operate seven days a week on a permanent basis.”
BCEHS is hoping to recruit new paramedics in the local community, for full-time and part-time positions. Anyone interested in learning more about a career in paramedicine can contact BCEHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.