Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)


Government actions to strengthen B.C.’s ambulance system, care

These enhanced services are part of the Province’s continuing effort to strengthen its ambulance system and emergency care. Actions already taken and completed include:

  • Resourcing:
    • Hired 85 new full-time paramedics in metro areas, including Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Burnaby, Surrey, Langley, Richmond, Abbotsford, Kamloops and Prince George.
    • Hired 30 new full-time dispatchers.
    • Converted 24 ambulance stations from on-call paramedic staffing to 24-7 stations to enhance ambulance coverage for these communities.
    • Added more positions to 26 smaller stations where the scheduled on-call staffing model was introduced to provide more permanent, regular paramedic jobs.
  • Governance:
    • Reconstituted the BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) board to focus solely on ambulance services.
    • Appointment of a new chief ambulance officer responsible for the day-to-day management of the BC Ambulance Service and the establishment of a new executive director of business operations and support.
  • Since 2017, the BCEHS annual budget has increased from $424.25 million to $559.12 million, doubling the average annual spending.

Additional information on BCEHS

  • BCEHS priorities are to:
    • position BCEHS to be a world leader in delivering emergency and community care; and,
    • be an outstanding employer in supporting the wellness, health and safety, including psychological safety of call takers, dispatchers and paramedics.

BCEHS has been working to strengthen its dedicated emergency preparedness capacity, to ensure proactive, ongoing and effective response and planning for major incidents and natural disasters going forward.

To support emergency management and preparedness BCEHS will be immediately establishing, with the Ambulance Paramedics and Dispatchers of BC (CUPE 873), an emergency management and planning review to better understand and address optimal special operations, public safety and emergency management and response by BCEHS.