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Lower Mainland paramedics warn ambulance service critically understaffed

On Aug. 20 there were no ambulances staffed in Maple Ridge
Multiple BC residents have been forced to wait over an hour for an ambulance in the past year due to paramedic shortages. (The News)

B.C. paramedics are warning the public that ambulance services in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver are critically understaffed, with zero staffed ambulances running in Maple Ridge today (Aug. 20).

According to Troy Clifford, president of the Ambulance Paramedics of BC union, the number of unstaffed ambulances throughout the Fraser Valley area is cause for alarm.

“The province is short 1,000 paramedics, with roughly half of them needed in urban centres,” said Clifford.

He also warns that this isn’t a problem that is going to go away in a week or even a month.

“On Friday night we had many Advanced Life Support ambulances sitting empty all night, and today we continue to see deplorable non-staffed Ambulances in the Fraser Valley as well,” said Clifford.

“This weekend continues a trend across the province that seems to have no end.”

READ MORE: B.C. man dies within sight of ambulance station with no paramedics available

As a result of these ambulance staff shortages, Clifford and the Ambulance Paramedics of BC are warning that response times might suffer this weekend.

“We are urging the public to be aware that there could be significant delays in service, and use 911 when someone’s health or safety is at risk, use 811 when unsure,” said Clifford.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge senior waits 15 hours with broken hip for ambulance that never came

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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