A Paramedic shortage

Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby mullyman » Oct 8th, 2020, 10:10 am

my5cents wrote:I'm not a fan of how BCAS administration operates our ambulance service. From my years of observations it's clear to me the ambulance service works fairly well in spite of management. The problem as I see it is that the government down to ambulance administration isn't pressured by BC citizens. The ambulance is basically invisible to the public until they need one and then they are very very important. When something goes wrong and a response time is too slow we all hear about it.

When things are "normal", like a part time paramedic is travelling long distances to sit in a rural ambulance station and earn at times only $24 for a 12 hour shift,,, crickets.

firsttimecaller wrote:............There should be no part time paramedics at all. It's a position that needs to be taken seriously, given full time hours, and compensated appropriately. Until that happens, the general public will not be guaranteed the service they deserve.

So the many long serving paramedics that opt for retirement at a fairly young age, should not be working part time ??

TylerM4 wrote:The actual reason for the relocating is because they're in a provincial union. New guy off the street means no seniority and you get the small town and/or part time jobs. After you build up seniority you move to the larger towns and full time. It's no different with RCMP in many cases. Gotta pay your dues with the crappy job before you get the nice job in Kelowna. Part of the pitfall of paying the same wage regardless of where they work and part vs full time.


So, when you are junior in service with the BCAS you get posted to full time positions in small towns or part time in small towns. After you build up seniority you move to the larger towns (and I gather if you are still part time in the small town) you get full time. It's no different with the RCMP in many cases. ?????

Just about perfect, perfectly incorrect. Centres like the Lower Mainland are NOT sought out be most paramedic or RCMP. The cost of housing, the commute etc etc is a big detractor.

To get full time with the BCAS you have to work in the Lower Mainland. RCMP members coming from Regina (Depot) get posted to the Lower Mainland, they don't have a choice.

dolanduck wrote:...............While working part time, most paramedics are stuck on shifts where they are only paid by the call, so sometimes you can be on-shift for your 12 hours, but if no calls come in, you only get $2 an hour for your time waiting for a call (slave wage terminology is justifiable here). Should a call come in, you get 4 hours of your normal rate $25-30 per hour.


Close, but slightly misleading. If you are on the type of shift where you get $2 an hour, you are on call, it's called a "Kilo Shift". As long as you reside a reasonable distance from the station you can be at home, pager goes off you call in and head to the station. You then get paid a minimum of 4 hours, if the call takes longer you get paid for that time. If the call takes 1 hour, you get paid 4 hours.

dolanduck wrote:Most paramedics start out in the outskirt small towns where the station averages around one call every 24 hours, resulting in paramedics commuting hours to an outskirt station where they will actually sit for multiple back-to-back shifts (48-60 hours, 5 shifts) and maybe get two calls, and take home a grand total of about $300, but that does not factor for the expenses of commuting and feeding yourself to even be there to work.


You are still talking about the Kilo shift. Depending on the area, if the station you are working at gets a very low call volume there is what is called a "Kilo guarantee". It means in those stations IF you don't get a call in the 12 hour call out period, you get paid 4 hours, plus the $2 and hour standby. The problem arises in the "grey area" stations. They aren't slow enough to have the Kilo guarantee and they aren't busy enough so that at lease one call on a 12 hours standby shift is very likely.

mullyman wrote:.......... the problem, which is that the b.c.a.s. thinks it is appropriate to have on call workers who earn 2 bucks an hour, in rural, less populated areas. your argument using the rcmp is not a good example, as there are no on call cops.


You sure about that ?

prove me wrong...
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby firsttimecaller » Oct 8th, 2020, 2:09 pm

So the many long serving paramedics that opt for retirement at a fairly young age, should not be working part time ??
all town) you get full time. It's no different with the RCMP in many cases. ?????


That is correct. We should not have part time paramedics. Do retired cops come back to the force to work part time? No they do not.

Paramedic positions are important enough that all positions should be full time positions filled by the highest standard of professionals. Taking an 8 month certificate course alone should not guarantee employment, nor should this be a part time gig to supplement someones retirement income on the side.

BCAS need to up their standards and make all positions full time, well paid, and only filled by the best possible candidates using competitive hiring processes. Lives literally depend on this service.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Oct 8th, 2020, 2:45 pm

mullyman wrote:prove me wrong...


From an RCMP member (1978 - 2014) answering a question posed by someone :

https://www.quora.com/How-do-RCMP-offic ... ually-work

The most prevalent duty assignment in the R.C.M.P. is called General Duty policing. This refers to the uniformed officer who is posted to either a small rural town, or a large city, or a Traffic Service (highway patrol) in any of the three territories or eight of the ten provinces (excluding Quebec and Ontario).

When in a small town Detachment, the area of responsibility is defined by a larger rural area that may include a few towns, villages, or First Nations Territories.

General Duties officers enforce many distinct Federal Acts, the Criminal Code, many Provincial Statutes, and occasionally some Municipal By-Laws. At those locations, the police are not on duty 24 hours a day. There may be only 16 hours of active coverage each day. During the historically quiet times in the middle of the night, officers are On Call or Standby where they go home to bed but may be called out to respond to emergencies or crimes in progress.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Oct 8th, 2020, 2:51 pm

firsttimecaller wrote:
So the many long serving paramedics that opt for retirement at a fairly young age, should not be working part time ??
all town) you get full time. It's no different with the RCMP in many cases. ?????


That is correct. We should not have part time paramedics. Do retired cops come back to the force to work part time? No they do not.


Actually they do. And no, I'm not going to prove it. Do your own research.

firsttimecaller wrote:Paramedic positions are important enough that all positions should be full time positions filled by the highest standard of professionals. Taking an 8 month certificate course alone should not guarantee employment, nor should this be a part time gig to supplement someones retirement income on the side.

BCAS need to up their standards and make all positions full time, well paid, and only filled by the best possible candidates using competitive hiring processes. Lives literally depend on this service.


You going to write the check ? BC is a very large province, there are a lot of sparsely populated areas, serviced by volunteer fire departments, RCMP detachments that are only staffed 16 hours a day, but your going to pay full time paramedics to staff their stations 24/7 ?
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby firsttimecaller » Oct 8th, 2020, 9:14 pm

You going to write the check ? BC is a very large province, there are a lot of sparsely populated areas, serviced by volunteer fire departments, RCMP detachments that are only staffed 16 hours a day, but your going to pay full time paramedics to staff their stations 24/7


Actually that is part of the problem with the system. Paramedic services should be regional like they are in most other places, rather than trying to cover the whole province with the same brush. Secondly, since this topic is posted under “central okanagan” it is not unreasonable to expect a region of this size to be serviced by highly qualified full time paramedics. What we have currently is a joke. If people only knew how bad some of the part time staff are they’d be shocked.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby MrRusty » Oct 8th, 2020, 10:50 pm

Actually that is part of the problem with the system. Paramedic services should be regional like they are in most other places, rather than trying to cover the whole province with the same brush. Secondly, since this topic is posted under “central okanagan” it is not unreasonable to expect a region of this size to be serviced by highly qualified full time paramedics. What we have currently is a joke. If people only knew how bad some of the part time staff are they’d be shocked.[/quote]

I didn't write the above comment... I'm quoting it
Really??
And you know this for a fact.
I bet you think that the Fire Department should be the paramedics.
Then who goes up on the connector?
That's out of there response area, or Hwy 33, or the Monashee, or the north Okanagan
Or you could step up. :cuss:
Last edited by MrRusty on Feb 17th, 2021, 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Oct 9th, 2020, 5:35 am

firsttimecaller wrote:Actually that is part of the problem with the system. Paramedic services should be regional like they are in most other places, rather than trying to cover the whole province with the same brush. Secondly, since this topic is posted under “central okanagan” it is not unreasonable to expect a region of this size to be serviced by highly qualified full time paramedics. What we have currently is a joke. If people only knew how bad some of the part time staff are they’d be shocked.

Generally when a service or agency is regionalized it is expanded for more overall control of a region. For example greater Vancouver's police departments, ? five, soon to be six municipal police forces, plus the ? half dozen or so RCMP detachments (depending how far out we categorize greater Vancouver). Regionalization would provide better overall coverage and cohesion.

The BCAS is already set up regionally. Something serious happens on the Coquihalla and they can draw resources from all over.

Even fire departments are not regionalized, and have resorted to agreements to share resources when the need arrises. Much training is regionalized, but departments could benefit from regional purchasing and maintenance of equipment.

I would say of the three emergency services, police, fire and ambulance, ambulance is already the most regionalized.

Any concerns about the BCAS that I've heard is about a shortage of staffing, poor unfair shift structures, low wages compared to police and fire. The service being a "joke", or "bad part time staff", isn't a concern I've heard, I'd like to see support for those accusations.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Oct 9th, 2020, 7:55 am

MrRusty wrote:Really??
And you know this for a fact.
I bet you think that the Fire Department should be the paramedics.
Then who goes up on the connector?
That's out of there response area, or Hwy 33, or the Monashee, or the north Okanagan
Or you could step up. :cuss:

Ya, the fire departments that with the exception of a very few are all volunteer, on call.

Up the connector, or out of their area,,,, ? You mean like the vehicles that catch fire a few kms out of their area that sit and burn themselves out ?
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby mullyman » Oct 9th, 2020, 8:04 am

my5cents wrote:
mullyman wrote:prove me wrong...
last time i checked... no NEW officers are working part time.. when on call they are being paid a salary


From an RCMP member (1978 - 2014) answering a question posed by someone :

https://www.quora.com/How-do-RCMP-offic ... ually-work

The most prevalent duty assignment in the R.C.M.P. is called General Duty policing. This refers to the uniformed officer who is posted to either a small rural town, or a large city, or a Traffic Service (highway patrol) in any of the three territories or eight of the ten provinces (excluding Quebec and Ontario).

When in a small town Detachment, the area of responsibility is defined by a larger rural area that may include a few towns, villages, or First Nations Territories.

General Duties officers enforce many distinct Federal Acts, the Criminal Code, many Provincial Statutes, and occasionally some Municipal By-Laws. At those locations, the police are not on duty 24 hours a day. There may be only 16 hours of active coverage each day. During the historically quiet times in the middle of the night, officers are On Call or Standby where they go home to bed but may be called out to respond to emergencies or crimes in progress.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby firsttimecaller » Oct 9th, 2020, 9:07 am

MrRusty wrote:Actually that is part of the problem with the system. Paramedic services should be regional like they are in most other places, rather than trying to cover the whole province with the same brush. Secondly, since this topic is posted under “central okanagan” it is not unreasonable to expect a region of this size to be serviced by highly qualified full time paramedics. What we have currently is a joke. If people only knew how bad some of the part time staff are they’d be shocked.


Really??
And you know this for a fact.
I bet you think that the Fire Department should be the paramedics.
Then who goes up on the connector?
That's out of there response area, or Hwy 33, or the Monashee, or the north Okanagan
Or you could step up. :cuss:
[/quote]

Yes I know this for a fact

No, I think paramedics should be the paramedics

I would expect the connector gets covered by either Okanagan Paramedics or Merritt, depending who is closer. It's not hard to draw a boundary line for service areas.

I could step up to do what? Be a paramedic? Not interested.I know people who would be interested, however the system in BC is broken. In many other provinces becoming a paramedic is a competitive process. In BC you take a course and you can start part time or casual on the ambulance.

Maybe you don't agree, but for me I'd rather have a competent full-time professional responding to life threatening emergencies than a part time or casual employee.

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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Oct 9th, 2020, 9:38 am

mullyman wrote:last time i checked... no NEW officers are working part time.. when on call they are being paid a salary


You need to work on your quoting skills

a) I addressed your first statement which was :

mullyman wrote:..........but that still does not focus on the problem, which is that the b.c.a.s. thinks it is appropriate to have on call workers who earn 2 bucks an hour, in rural, less populated areas. your argument using the rcmp is not a good example, as there are no on call cops.


and of course there are RCMP members assigned to be "on call", in many many small detachments throughout Canada.

As for being paid a "salary", the term is generally denotes a fixed compensation for an occupation. I don't know the exact payment equation but on call members are paid for their services once called out. There is likely a number of minimum hours per call out. I don't know if they get any type of remuneration for the fact they've made themselves available to be called out.

I'd expect in a small detachment the call out system rotates between members.

b) My statement regarding "part time RCMP" was directed at "firsttimecaller"

firsttimecaller wrote:...........We should not have part time paramedics. Do retired cops come back to the force to work part time? No they do not...........


Which I correctly stated " Actually they do". The RCMP don't, and I didn't say that the RCMP did, employ new members on a part time basis. The RCMP utilize fully qualified veteran members to return to the force on a part time as needed basis.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby mr.bandaid » Feb 15th, 2021, 10:12 am

Never argue with an idiot, they will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Feb 15th, 2021, 1:40 pm

mr.bandaid wrote:https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Bc-Ambulance-Service/reviews?fcountry=ALL

Pretty much says it all.

Good find, mr.bandaid

BCAS is a service to be proud of because of the dedication of the employees ,,, however, also in spite of the employer.

When the government first announced the order of vaccination priority for various demographics and services the emergency services included police and fire, no mention of paramedics. Later, and before vaccinations started paramedics were included.

We had a mishmash of ambulance services throughout the province until the NDP took over the government in 1972 and created EHS (Emergency Health Services). It's strange that some people are still learning that our ambulance service isn't just a horizonal transport service.
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby MrRusty » Feb 16th, 2021, 10:34 am

my5cents wrote:
mr.bandaid wrote:https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Bc-Ambulance-Service/reviews?fcountry=ALL

Pretty much says it all.

Good find, mr.bandaid

BCAS is a service to be proud of because of the dedication of the employees ,,, however, also in spite of the employer.

When the government first announced the order of vaccination priority for various demographics and services the emergency services included police and fire, no mention of paramedics. Later, and before vaccinations started paramedics were included.

We had a mishmash of ambulance services throughout the province until the NDP took over the government in 1972 and created EHS (Emergency Health Services). It's strange that some people are still learning that our ambulance service isn't just a horizonal transport service.

That's because BCEHS isn't considered an Emergency Service, ( it was grouped in with the other first responder's called Tri Service Police Fire Ambulance ) the government 15 years ago or so. Under the Liberal government it removed the Ambulance Service from the Emergency Service designation so when Contract talks started there union couldn't compare wages to emergency services and was lumped in with janitorial services under Ministry of health.
That effectively removed any bargaining power there union had.
But in the day all of a sudden cabinet minister's got 15-25% increases along with Health Ministry management employee's and Ambulance supervisors got 10-15% and the actual paramedic got 0 - 1.5 and 1.0% increase for 5 years :-X
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Re: A Paramedic shortage

Postby my5cents » Feb 16th, 2021, 11:45 am

MrRusty wrote:That's because BCEHS isn't considered an Emergency Service, ( it was grouped in with the other first responder's called Tri Service Police Fire Ambulance ) the government 15 years ago or so. Under the Liberal government it removed the Ambulance Service from the Emergency Service designation so when Contract talks started there union couldn't compare wages to emergency services and was lumped in with janitorial services under Ministry of health.
That effectively removed any bargaining power there union had.
But in the day all of a sudden cabinet minister's got 15-25% increases along with Health Ministry management employee's and Ambulance supervisors got 10-15% and the actual paramedic got 0 - 1.5 and 1.0% increase for 5 years :-X

Wasn't there something about the Olympics too ?

The Ambulance was in a strike position and were basically providing the service but, I think refusing extra call outs like hockey games etc. The government still maintained that they weren't an Emergency Service (essential service). Then as the "owe lympics" approached the government re-designated them, (I still don't think they deemed them essential) to force whatever services they needed from them for the events.

Several years later the teachers went on strike to which the Liberals (gee I loved them) forced the teachers back to work designating teaching an essential service.

I've always said to be a judge or a politician you first should have been robbed at gun point, a loved one killed in a criminal act, your car stolen, your house broken into, had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance, had to apply for a building permit, been involved in a traffic collision, with the corresponding police and ICBC and worked in a government bureaucracy as a mid level employee.
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