When Not To Call 9-1-1 for an Ambulance

Please take the common sense route, and save the 9-1-1 call for when it is truly needed

BC Ambulance SErvice

VICTORIA – Last year Emergency Medical Dispatchers at BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) answered more than 394,000 9-1-1 calls. While many of those calls involved life-threatening situations from cardiac arrests to childbirth to motor vehicle incidents, some, however, were not of an urgent nature and did not require an ambulance response.

 

·       I think my house is infested with fleas. Can someone come and check it out?

·       I can’t get through to my cell provider. Can you help me?

·       My husband is driving me crazy. I need you to take him away.

·       I need you to get hold of my doctor for me — the office is closed.

·       I’m out of beer.

·       I swallowed toothpaste. I didn’t spit it out. Will it make me sick?

·       There’s a dead crow in my yard. Could I get West Nile disease from it?

·       I don’t need an ambulance, but if I do, how much does it cost?

·       I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning. Could you call me at 8:00 so I’m not late?

·       What’s the phone number to the hospital nearest to me?

 

BCAS Director of Dispatch Operations Gord Kirk oversees dispatch centres in Vancouver, Victoria and Kamloops, as well as the more than 240 dispatch staff who serve the province.  He strongly recommends that 9-1-1 calls for ambulance service be used for medical emergencies only. “It’s important to remember that we’re here to help people with emergency medical situations.  Calls that are inappropriate divert resources from those who need swift medical attention.”

BCAS encourages the public to dial 9-1-1 for assistance during a medical emergency. Alternatives to calling an ambulance include contacting the 8-1-1 tele-health service, accessing a walk-in clinic, making an appointment with a family doctor or visiting a hospital emergency department if necessary. Hospital emergency departments triage all patients that arrive, including those by ambulance.

BCAS operates under the authority of the Emergency and Health Services Commission (EHSC) to provide residents and healthcare professionals with access to pre-hospital emergency and patient transfer services. The EHSC also oversees BC Bedline and Trauma Services BC. The EHSC is a division of the Provincial Health Services Authority, which manages high-quality specialized health care services across BC.

Just Posted

Castlegar athletes excel at 55+ Games

Castlegar residents bring home 28 individual medals and six team medals.

Castlegar Rebels split weekend opener

Rebels opened KIJHL regular season with a win over Grand Forks and a loss against Spokane.

Disability employment awareness month: open house and inclusive employer award

Events take place in Nelson and Castlegar this week

Kootenay author to launch memoir at Castlegar library

D.M. Ditson will share intimate memoir about sexual assault, PTSD and recovery.

LETTERS: On trails, environment, fall fair

Castlegar News letters to the editor for this week

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

Most Read