Pictured here are six of the eight full time paramedics now assigned to the Houston ambulance station. It means 24/7 coverage, a first for the community. The fulltime complement includes District of Houston councillor Tom Stringfellow who moved over from his posting as one of the station’s community paramedics. (Photo courtesy B.C. Emergency Health Services)
Pictured here are six permanent full time paramedics assigned to the Houston ambulance station. Not in the picture is a seventh full time paramedic and one position remains to be filled of the eight newly-created permanent positions. (Photo courtesy B.C. Emergency Health Services)

Pictured here are six of the eight full time paramedics now assigned to the Houston ambulance station. It means 24/7 coverage, a first for the community. The fulltime complement includes District of Houston councillor Tom Stringfellow who moved over from his posting as one of the station’s community paramedics. (Photo courtesy B.C. Emergency Health Services) Pictured here are six permanent full time paramedics assigned to the Houston ambulance station. Not in the picture is a seventh full time paramedic and one position remains to be filled of the eight newly-created permanent positions. (Photo courtesy B.C. Emergency Health Services)

Ambulance station looking to fully staff positions

Casual/on-call paramedics remain a key to service

Having enough full time paramedics to provide 24/7 coverage from the Houston ambulance station is a first for Houston and area, but the station will continue to rely on members of the community making themselves available as casual/on-call paramedics.

The on-call casuals will be called in to crew the station’s second ambulance whenever the two permanent paramedics on that shift are called out in the first ambulance.

And they’ll fill in when the permanent paramedics are on holidays or otherwise not on duty.

As of two weeks ago, there were 15 full time and casual/on-call paramedics available for duty, explained Shannon Miller of BC Emergency Health Services, the parent agency for the ambulance service.

That worked out to seven of the eight newly-created permanent positions being filled and approximately eight casual/on-call paramedics available for service, she said.

The station also has two community paramedics who normally do not go out on calls but who visit people at their residences to provide basic service.

Both of those positions are vacant but both are posted, said Miller.

One of those community paramedic positions had been filled by District of Houston councillor Tom Stringfellow but became open when he shifted over to one of the new permanent positions.

“That is well staffed,” said Miller of the anticipated number of full time, casual/on-call and community paramedics scheduled to be on duty at the Houston ambulance station.