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Changes to medical first responder services for the RDCK fire service

British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) has issued a memorandum that will change, effective immediately, how first responders—including those with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Fire Services—are dispatched to emergency medical calls. The memorandum limits the dispatching of first responder groups during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.

As a result of this memorandum, first responders will be limited to attending immediately life-threatening events, events that require technical rescue such as extrication at a motor vehicle incident, and to time-critical events where paramedics are delayed by more than 20 minutes.

“Many residents in small communities and rural areas across the RDCK rely on our Fire Services to attend in a medical emergency, and they trust us to be there when they need us,” said Regional Fire Chief Nora Hannon. “We are dedicated to serving residents and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will work with our partners at BCEHS to best support pre-hospital care during this challenging situation.”

Further updates will be shared as needed and will also be posted on our website here:

https://rdck.ca/EN/main/services/emergency-management/covid-19-updates.html

For more resources related to COVID-19, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website:

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.