CRD Area F Director Joan Sorley says it is unacceptable that volunteer fire departments and first responder units are not supplied with oxygen by BC Ambulance Service.
Sorley made the remarks at Friday’s Board Meeting after a $1,000 grant for assistance application to offset the costs of oxygen tanks for the Likely & District Volunteer Fire Department was approved.
Sorley says despite fighting with the Service years ago to supply volunteer departments with oxygen and consumables and having won, that decision was reversed by a bureaucrat.
CAO John MacLean said that the CRD’s Manager of Protective Services will be meeting with BC Ambulance Service on the changes to its’ service structure early next month with a report a to follow and that a discussion regarding oxygen tanks and consumables would only make sense.
The Board agreed to wait until that meeting takes place before calling a meeting of their own with BC Ambulance Service.
“Our tax-based fire departments don’t have the issue because they have the budget so if they need to buy oxygen, they can buy oxygen,” said Sorley.
“The non-profit societies struggle with to provide first responder services don’t, and that’s a lot of money for them.”
The Likely and District Fire Department said it uses 1-2 oxygen tanks each month at a cost of $55 per tank, and that it does not regularly receive tanks from BC Ambulance Service.