There is progress in finding paramedics to work at the Kitwanga ambulance station, reports the provincial health ministry.
As of late November, one has been hired to fill one of four positions that were open at the station.
The station earlier this fall had no paramedics at all, resulting in ambulance crews from Terrace and Hazelton driving in each day to fill the gap.
There was no explicit reason given for the lack of Kitwanga paramedics.
“Prior to November 1, the staffing model for Kitwanga station included an on-call unit chief and a part-time (0.67 full-time equivalent) community paramedic with a small pool of on-call paramedics providing additional coverage,” indicated a provided statement.
But a revised staffing model now calls or four positions which are labelled as scheduled on call, the ambulance service term meaning that a paramedic is at the station eight hours a day and then on call the other 16 hours of a day over a three-day shift rotation.
Each of the four positions in Kitwanga — a unit chief, a community paramedic and two paramedics — carry a .75 full time equivalent salary plus benefits. That’s now considered the standard at small, remote locations in order to attract and keep people.
Of the 164 scheduled on call vacant positions around the province 78 had been filled the end of November.
Ambulance service statistics indicate there were 27 medical emergency responses in Kitwanga last year and 22 as of mid-November.