Medical calls nearly double for Kamloops firefighters in first half of 2022 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Medical calls nearly double for Kamloops firefighters in first half of 2022


Kamloops firefighters are heading to an increasing number of medical calls this year, while paramedics are feeling the strain.

Kamloops Fire Rescue recorded 4,458 medical calls in the first six months of 2022, nearly double the amount of calls from a year earlier.

In 2021, they responded to 2,788 medical calls and in 2020 there was 2,228, according to reports to the City of Kamloops.

READ MORE: Staffing partly to blame for low blood supplies in Kamloops, Okanagan

At the same time, calls to fires have largely decreased in 2022. Medical calls already made up the majority of the department's responses before, but the increasing load of healthcare responsibilities appears to be leading Kamloops firefighters to track their responses in more detail.

The fire department plans to start reporting the types of medical calls it responds to and how long firefighters are at the scene before paramedics get there, according to a City of Kamloops committee meeting Sept. 8.

The report does not go into detail about how long firefighters are waiting for paramedics to arrive at Kamloops and Tk'emlups medical calls, recent deaths in Ashcroft and Barriere put a spotlight on short staffing at the B.C. Ambulance Service.

Two patients have died in Ashcroft while waiting for paramedics to arrive, while an infant in Barriere died more recently before an ambulance could get there. Both small communities have volunteer fire departments that are not equipped to respond to medical calls like those in Kamloops.

READ MORE: Small, rural communities left short when paramedics head to Kamloops

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