Anyone made uneasy by the temporary closure of Castlegar’s hospital in February and the lack of ambulance coverage in Castlegar over the holidays is going to be delighted with this latest bombshell from B.C. Ambulance Services (BCAS) – I was so horrified by what I learned here that I feel obligated to write about it through an opinion/editorial piece rather than attempting any sort of objectivity on the matter at all.
In covering ambulance issues in the region, I happened upon anecdotal evidence that BCAS doesn’t require any fitness evaluations of its paramedics after the initial fitness screening that is part of the hiring process – even if said paramedics are with the organization for decades.
I was sure that couldn’t be right – as anyone over the age of 40 knows, our bodies change dramatically as we age: degenerative diseases show up, old injuries take their toll, we gain weight, we lose strength. I simply could not believe that BCAS, with all its lofty medical expertise, had missed out on that particular newsflash.