Letter: Critical Condition series will save lives

We want to thank Betsy Kline and her team at Castlegar News for the amazing job they did.

On behalf of future prehospital care needs patients across B.C., as well as on behalf of BC HEROS, we are deeply grateful to you, the Black Press group of local newspapers, for getting this important lifesaving story on the true state of B.C. prehospital care, out to residents across British Columbia.

We have had calls from across B.C. from people that were grateful that your newsgroup chose to do these stories; to paraphrase what we heard over and over was; “… We knew we had slow ambulance service where lived but we had no idea that so many of our ambulance attendants only had such low training and medical abilities …”.

We want to especially thank (and give kudos) to Betsy Kline and her team at Castlegar News for the amazing job they did on this expose’ of the dismal state of prehospital care in BC. There is no question that their in-depth reporting will save lives in B.C. moving forward. All of us at BC HEROS hope the Castlegar News team will win awards for it.

When the upcoming BC Auditor General’s report on the state of B.C. EHS will be released later this year, your readers will have even more reasons to be concerned about the level of prehospital care their loved ones get along with unacceptably slow response times they still get from B.C. EHS across B.C., including the Lower Mainland.

While the Castlegar News stories were just the beginning, we are sure they will prove to be the critical part that was missing to getting the ball rolling in terms of finally bringing, modern, 21st century EMS to B.C.; B.C. residents in all regions have now been ‘educated’ as to the true state of their ambulance service, even more important, they are now talking about it with friends, relatives and co-workers and their MLAs. This shows the true power of the press.

FYI, so far, and in part due to other Black Press affiliate papers reprinting the Castlegar News stories, BC HEROS has had over 20 rural town councils pledge their support for improvements to how BCEHS chooses to provide EMS in their communities, and we expect more.

In closing, having been involved in bringing modern EMS to B.C. for over 34 years, I can say without doubt that as of the Castlegar News stories, B.C. has never been closer to finally moving closer to a modern, 21st century EMS model, not just for Lower Mainlanders but for most regions of B.C. and that will mean thousands of additional lives saved and billions of dollars saved in health care costs for taxpayers.

Again, the Castlegar News team and Black Press played a major role in moving this process forward by providing the facts to your readers. Kudos to all at Black Press and Castlegar News team.

Kindest regards and many thanks again.

Hans Dysarsz

Executive Director, BC HEROS

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