B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics are working with the Town of Oliver to help deliver emergency information to at-risk residents whose home addresses have changed following a new civic address change initiative.
BCAS paramedics will begin canvassing hundreds of homes and apartments on May 14 at 5 p.m. and dropping off an information package with each resident’s new address written on a 9-1-1 fridge magnet they can keep next to their phone. In the event of an emergency, the resident’s correct address will be immediately available to provide to the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
“We’re concerned about many senior residents in Oliver who are unaware of the changes to their street name or street number,” said local unit chief Joy Peterson. “We’ve responded to 9-1-1 calls where the homeowner or tenant gives us their old address or a partially correct address. We want to make sure that our paramedics are able to reach a patient in need as soon as possible during a medical emergency.”
“I think it’s a great plan, going door to door,” said Tom Szalay, municipal manager for the Town of Oliver. “The town has notified all property owners of their new addresses however there are some tenants, for example, who may not yet have received notice from their landlords. Other residents may simply benefit from a gentle reminder. Oliver paramedics have stepped up in a big way to support the safety of our citizens.”
“Our paramedics are very involved in the communities they serve,” said Mike Michalko, BCAS executive director of rural operations. “This is inspiring volunteerism in Oliver that goes well beyond the call of regular duty.”
Over 3,900 BCAS employees contribute hundreds of hours of volunteer community support annually and are recognized for their achievements through the employee Awards of Excellence program.
In 2011/12, paramedics in Oliver responded to 771 pre-hospital 9-1-1 calls and completed 1,059 inter-facility patient transfers.