POSTED: April 9, 2015 | Mayors Blog
Recently I was appointed as UBCM representative at the Provincial Advisory Committee for Community Paramedicine Initiative.
Starting this year people living in rural and remote communities like Stewart can look forward to a new kind of paramedic in their communities. Community paramedicine is a new addition to the primary care team that will, in rural communities, strengthen the primary care system. The new Community Paramedic Program will use the skills of paramedics in non-traditional ways. One of them is to assist seniors to stay in their home longer. That might be to assist those with chronic disease management and it could involve assistance with seniors in residential care which would help to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and Northern Health have selected the Village of Hazelton in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine as one of three communities for the launch of British Columbia’s first Community Paramedicine Initiative. The other communities are Chetwynd and Fort St. James. I hope that Stewart would be one of the next chosen communities.
BC Emergency Health Service has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the province’s Health Authorities to successfully launch this initiative, which will see at least 80 new full-time equivalents (FTEs) hired to support community paramedicine programs in rural and remote communities between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2019.