Thursday, September 25, 2014

City of Langley asks province to cover partial cost of first-responder medical emergency calls

With the start of fall, comes the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual convention. Local government officials from across the province convene to talk about issues and solutions that impact local government. One of the major outcomes of the conference is a set a passed resolutions that call on the province to take action on various issues that are important to local government.

The resolutions are divided into multiply sections. The most important resolutions are part of the “A” section. This year, a City of Langley resolution is in the “A” section.

WHEREAS the number of first responder or medical emergency service alarm (MESA) calls that the City of Langley responds to represents 78 percent of all calls received by the Langley City Fire Rescue Service (LCFRS);

AND WHEREAS the City of Langley incurs significant direct costs as a result of responding to MESA calls to compliment the services provided by BC Ambulance Service (BCAS);

AND WHEREAS the intermediate patient care can greatly enhance patient outcomes and significantly reduce short term and long term costs to the overall health care system and the City of Langley acknowledges the community will benefit from the LCFRS supporting BCAS to provide first responder services to the patient while the ambulance is en-route:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Province of BC work with UBCM to develop a fair and equitable cost recovery model to compensate local governments for responding to medical first responder calls.

If a resolution passes, the province will responds to the resolution. Most of the time, the province politely declines to do anything. The UBCM puts past resolutions and the responses from the province online.

Fire/rescue personal attending medical emergencies is another example of how local government is providing services to fill-in the gap left by provincial government cutbacks. When it comes to compensating local government for some of the cost of fire/recuse personally attending medical emergencies, the province has said no in the past. The province suggests that local government reduce the amount of medical service calls they respond to, letting the BC Ambulance Service respond to these calls in due time. Of course, this would mean longer response times getting to people when there is a medical emergency.

It is highly unlikely that the province will reimburse local government for providing first-response medical services.

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