AT the June 15 regular meeting of Delta Council, Mayor Lois E. Jackson provided a statement regarding the May 25 adoption of Delta Fire Regulation Bylaw No. 5855, 2001 Amendment (Ancillary Health Services), which authorizes Delta firefighters who are fully licensed to Emergency Medical Responder level to provide enhanced pre-hospital emergency medical care:
DELTA is a unique municipality, having three geographically distinct communities in one of the largest land areas in Metro Vancouver.
As a result, long wait times and delayed service in emergency situations is a growing concern and a constant worry to our community. With the best interests of our residents in mind, Delta Council, staff, and I have worked very hard, along with our Delta Fire Chief and the Delta Fire service members, to find ways to improve the health services and emergency medical response in Delta.
For over two years, we have collaborated with the BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and had reached a tentative agreement in September 2014 that was to establish an enhanced patient-focused emergency response protocol. Unfortunately, BCEHS has refused to sign the agreement.
We never gave up on our residents. On May 25, 2015, Delta Council passed an amendment to the Delta Fire regulation bylaw. The amendment designated an ancillary health service, paving the way for our Delta firefighters to provide an enhanced pre-hospital care service to the citizens of Delta.
I am happy to say that the vast majority of Delta firefighters are now trained to the Emergency Medical Responder level, and under the amended bylaw, are ready to assist in providing a higher level of care and comfort for the patient until an ambulance arrives. And I stress that—until an ambulance arrives.
Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland will be updating Council on the progress of our enhanced medical response service early this summer. Therefore, on behalf of Delta Council and the Delta Fire and Emergency Services, I want to take this opportunity to say that we deeply care about our community and our people, and that we are here to help.
The bylaw amendment was designed with a clear intent of enhancing emergency medical care by having our firefighters assist residents in need while they wait for an ambulance to arrive, and again I would stress—while they wait for an ambulance to arrive.”