r/vancouver Oct 20 '21

I lost control of my legs, the BC Ambulance service asked me to take an Uber Ask Vancouver

I was walking with a friend in a forest, and my legs gave up (health issues).

After dialing 911, they mentioned that Ambulance line ups are huge and they would prefer if I take an Uber there. Thankfully, I got taken in my own car but I am totally flabbergasted.

The government has its funding priorities elsewhere man. This is sad as fuck. Thought I'd share.

Fuck you BC government. The more I research how they treat their ambulance employees the more angry I get. I am ashamed mostly due to the bulshit treatment of those people's wages.

My ambulance called was not deemed necessary, guess my expectations of how ambulances work was not realistic. There's too many accusing assholes in the comments and I'm not going to bother reading them since no one knows the full story (esp guy that accused me of KNOWING I was going to fall lmao), thank god people aren't salty bitches like this in real life.

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u/sbj13 Oct 20 '21

We learn this in first aid courses too, if you can get to the hospital yourself you should (taking for granted that your friend could help you into the Uber). It’s probably cheaper than an ambulance as well.

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u/growlerlass Oct 20 '21

I'm glad OP shared his story and people like you are sharing their info. I'm adjusting my expectations of ambulances accordingly. I feel like I learned something today.

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u/QzJINU9I Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 21 '21

Don't think of it as "calling an ambulance", think of it as "calling a paramedic". The value of an ambulance really isn't as a vehicle that drives to the hospital a little bit faster, it's that you'll receive life saving medical care sooner.

For stuff where urgent medical care is necessary or recommended (heart attack, massive bleeding, etc) you don't want to wait until you can get to the hospital to start receiving treatment, you want a medic to drive straight to you and help you right away. Call an ambulance!

For anything else where your situation is stable and not going to deteriorate on the way to the hospital... get a spouse/friend/uber/whatever to drive you if you can.

If you're not sure, use your best judgement but always remember that 811 HealthLink is an option. I think the wait times have mostly recovered since the initial COVID surge. Within a few minutes you can talk to a registered nurse who has access to a whole set of documentation on various symptoms and conditions. They will not hesitate to tell you to call 911 if they think it could require emergency treatment, but in many cases they'll be able to ask you questions to help determine whether it is an emergency and if not give you some recommendations on what to look out for that would make it an emergency, let you know whether it's a "see your doctor in a few weeks" type problem or a "go to a clinic first thing tomorrow" type problem, etc.

And for you parents out there, if your kid swallows a bunch of something they shouldn't call the Drug and Poison Information Centre. They were extremely helpful the last time I called.

There are certainly systemic problems with BCEMS, but we can all do our part to not make the problem worse by using the other services the government provides for us.

EDIT: I also want to add, 811 HealthLink also provides services such as health service navigators (to help you figure out what sort of doctor or service to find and connect you with them), RNs, dietitians, "exercise professionals", pharmacists (for medication questions), and more. It's a seriously awesome service to have available.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

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u/judgementalhat Oct 20 '21

This is not true. If you can be left in the waiting room, we put you in the waiting room. If you cannot be left alone, we wait with you. Again, you WILL NOT get faster ER service by calling an ambulance.

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u/Thoughtulism Oct 20 '21

Yeah, i think anecdotal experiences about a complex ambulatory and hospital triage system that depend on staffing, demand, location, and the particular ailment can't be generalized as a rule with any certainty.

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u/THRWY3141593 Oct 20 '21

Nah, paramedics will just pop someone into a chair if they're appropriate. If that's not possible, the patient might get moved onto a hospital gurney, but that doesn't mean a doctor or nurse is going to see them any quicker.

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u/treetopbird Oct 20 '21

Isn’t ambulance free if you have a legit need for it?

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u/19ellipsis Oct 20 '21

Not unless your extended health covers it. It's not ungodly expensive like in the states (I took one once maybe 12 years ago and was billed $70) but you still have to pay.

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u/pineappletwist Oct 20 '21

It’s only $80 now. Or it was in 2019 and 2020.

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u/ivy_al_ Oct 20 '21

$80 for me in B.C. in 2021. $400 for me in Alberta ~ 2013 (Alberta resident).

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u/NiceWatch-RunIt I’m a Liar Oct 20 '21

$500 minimum in Saskatchewan when I was there 5 years ago.

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u/soydavis Oct 20 '21

I think living in the US has warped my brain I paid $800 after insurance when I needed an ambulance and was totally expecting y’all to say like $400-500.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[removed]

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u/3nclave Oct 20 '21

It costs more to attempt to get money than the costs..

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u/newbscaper3 Oct 20 '21

Ah yes, lets start pointing fingers at a vulnerable population when they have nothing to do with this conversation.

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u/Somedumbshitprolly Oct 20 '21

Why are people downvoting you for asking a genuine question lmao

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u/treetopbird Oct 20 '21

I have no idea. I really thought the Canadian health care will cover ambulance cost if you actually need it and are not abusing the system. Maybe I am wrong and and there’s always a out of pocket cost for it? Is that why people are downvoting me?

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u/THRWY3141593 Oct 20 '21

Wait... so... if I'm reading this right, you went for a walk, and due to a chronic condition that you've known about, your legs got too tired? That was not an urgent issue. Ambulances are for life- and limb-threatening emergencies. An ambulance will absolutely come for that, but you're going to be at the bottom of the queue. There's people with chest pain, shortness of breath, and syncope who need a response much more than you do.

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u/wzrd23 Oct 20 '21

Yeah it sucks big time, but triage works with a limited resource. They would eventually get to OP, but it could take a long time because a heart attack would take priority if it came it while going to OP. I'm glad the operator was honest and gave a less time consuming option.

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u/superworking Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

OP literally an example of why the system is so overburdened. The ambulance isn't a taxi system, if you can take a taxi or similar transport you should be doing that. This is partly the problem with having ***edit*** heavily subsidized user fees is people think it's practically free and will try to abuse that option.

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u/El_Cactus_Loco Oct 20 '21

To be clear it isn’t free. But it should absolutely be free. Low income people don’t need more barriers to accessing healthcare, especially in an emergency.

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u/superworking Oct 20 '21

Sure, but it is heavily subsidized. I totally understand the pros and cons of no fee, subsidized, or full charge. It's just frustrating when you see people abusing an emergency system meant for people who need immediate emergency care.

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u/plaindrops Oct 20 '21

Ambulances do have a user fee.

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u/Frumbleabumb Oct 20 '21

I'm glad you called this guy out right away.

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u/Somedumbshitprolly Oct 20 '21

OP said it was due to health issues. There are many chronic health conditions that can lead to loss of feeling in the legs due to use, complete shut off of the nerves, extreme pain, etc.

They didn’t just “get tired”, this was a health issue. Not everyone is able-bodied, bud-

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u/gamertf Oct 20 '21

Its not a life threatening injury if you knew about it prior to going out. Ambulance is for car accidents,heart attacks and just life threatening that happen suddenly.

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u/Beneficial-Oven1258 Oct 20 '21

It sounds like this was not a life-threatening emergency and unfortunately at the moment, life-threatening emergencies are what the ambulances are needed for. It's partly calls like yours that are creating the massive wait times.

My partner had a bad bike crash a while back. Their bike was destroyed and they needed a hospital. We were told it would be 90-120 minutes for an ambulance. Fortunately we both have advanced first aid training and always carrying a good kit, so I was able to assess that there weren't likely any internal injuries beyond a broken rib, no concussion, and patch up their road rash while waiting for a cab to show up.

It's ridiculous, but it's the situation we have and we can take steps to reduce the load on the system via first aid training and preparation. It's absolutely a failure by government here, but it's the individuals who work in the emergency system that are paying the biggest price.

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u/cindylooboo Oct 20 '21

Idk... id say the people who are dying on their floors at home with no assistance are the ones paying the biggest price.

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u/3nclave Oct 20 '21

Yeah and ambulance workers make less than McDonald's staff... The bcehs is broken

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

Proof?

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u/canucks84 Oct 20 '21

It depends on how you look at it. Many communities (most, actually) are served by an on call model of work where either the whole shift, or most of the shift, is covered by pager callout. That medic makes $2 an hour for being on pager. If no calls come in, thats all that member makes for their shift for that day. If a call does come in, they make a minimum of 4 hours pay for their callout at their normal wage.

The work is not guaranteed and a paramedic doesn't own the shift pattern, so they cannot rely upon the work.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

A quick google search shows average pay is $30 an hour? Is this a BC issue specifically?

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u/canucks84 Oct 20 '21

That seems about right. I make $35. Significantly less than what a nurse, cop, or firefighter makes with the same tenure. But thats a different issue.

The less pay than McDonalds staff issue is the Kilo pager pay issue. Yes its a BC issue specifically.

Many communities in BC are staffed by 'on call' staffing model. Or they have a full time car and the second car is 'on call' in urban centres. Large city centres do not have the on call system (Van, Vic, Kelowna Kamloops PG, Nanaimo.) but every other town does in some form. (Your Vernons, Comoxs, cranbrooks, etc) and especially your small towns (Fernie, Port Hardy, Pemberton, etc)

So if I get my schedule for the month at my station it might show me with 18 shifts. But those shifts are just Kilo shifts. Maybe 1 is an 'alpha' shift (which pays whether you move or not) so you drive up to this town you dont live in (because very very few stations are staffed with local members) hoping someone needs an ambulance. Or else you just collect your $2 an hour. But because they dont require you to be at the station, it doesnt technically count as 'work' but for practical reasons, you gotta stay at the station.

You gotta tough this process out for several years before you can take a permanent position. Its tough.

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u/GeoffwithaGeee Oct 20 '21

i mean, if there is a 90 minute wait for an ambulance, I don't think those on-call paramedics are just sitting there making $2/hour, so I'm sure their average is hitting more reasonable numbers.

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u/jewishspacelazerz Oct 20 '21

I think there is a shortage of ambulances as well. So there are enough paramedics to attend the calls, but not enough ambulances to service them. Thus causing a backup.

Plus I think the comment you are replying to is referring to rural areas that aren't as busy.

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u/KitsBeach Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

This happens in the states, but not in BC. Though there will be cases where a paramedic might be on a kilo shift and get zero calls, this doesn't happen every shift and annually they make more. It does depend on location as to how much more though.

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u/canucks84 Oct 20 '21

It kind of is, if you see my post below I explain it a bit.

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u/pfak Kensington-Cedar Cottage | Plenty of karma to burn. Oct 20 '21

It's partly calls like yours that are creating the massive wait times.

Yeah, sure. But the system used to be able to handle calls like this.

Lack of funding for paramedics, not enough positions relative to population growth and the massive amount of repeat overdoses (with abusive patients: who would want to do that for BECHS wages?) are the real problems.

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u/danke-you Oct 20 '21

It sounds like this was not a life-threatening emergency and unfortunately at the moment, life-threatening emergencies are what the ambulances are needed for. It's partly calls like yours that are creating the massive wait times.

It's ridiculous, but it's the situation we have and we can take steps to reduce the load on the system via first aid training and preparation. It's absolutely a failure by government here, but it's the individuals who work in the emergency system that are paying the biggest price.

This is all true, but the question we should be asking ourselves is not "how do we live within the constraints of this system" but rather "is this the system we want"? Are our funding priorities such that we want multi-hour ambulance delays requiring people in medical distress (which may or may not be life threatening) to wait around or risk transport by non-medical experts? Is this preferable than either re-allocating funding from something less important to society or increasing taxes? Maybe it is, but we shouldn't blindly accept a subpar system just because that's how it is.

From my ordinary citizen's vantage point, we are just sitting here waiting for the opioid emergency to resolve itself (with minimal efforts from government to manage the situation) on the premise that it eradicate much (albeit not all) of the ambulance delays, given that a large proportion of high-priority calls are overdose related right now. Horgan's recent commitments regarding ambulance funding were just scraps of what has been requested by the experts for a long time. Notwithstanding the opioid crisis, ambulances have habitually been underfunded, and I think the solution we need requires addressing both the opioid crisis and ambulance funding more generally.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

Way over complicating a simple issue. Ambulances are for health emergencies. This was not.

I fell three stories on a construction site and broke my leg/knee/hip and got a ride from someone at the site. It was way quicker, I didn’t even think of calling an ambulance. If you can get there yourself why put strain on the system?

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u/THRWY3141593 Oct 20 '21

Haha, okay, see, I love where your head's at, but if anyone needs an ambulance, it's the guy who fell three stories and broke his leg.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

I was in shock, didn’t feel it at all until I arrived at the hospital lol.

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u/nosideautomotive Oct 20 '21

Yeah this is more reason to have medical professionals transport you instead of your foreman...

Weirdly enough I think you sort of argued the opposite of what you wanted, at least in terms of the info you've provided.

edit: I'd also like to say I agree with your main point but don't agree that you shouldn't call an ambulance for the injuries you described. You were just lucky.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

No I still would of gotten driven, I was 6 minutes away from the hospital at worst. Waiting for an ambulance would of probably taken longer.

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u/Peregrinebullet Oct 20 '21

Dude, that put you in the Rapid Transit Category under the current triage structure - you would have been a PRIORITY for the ambulance if your onsite OFA officer was thinking straight. Any fall over 6 metres is RTC and two supportive/long bones broken? Both are instant RTC on their own, let alone together. Christ.

I've been a first aid attendant for years, that OFA officer should be reported and stripped of his license.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

I’m not happy how it was handled or how I was treated after but that’s a separate issue

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u/Peregrinebullet Oct 20 '21

Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I am glad you're okay now (I hope you're okay)..... just... professional outrage at the attendant. ugh.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

My legs fucked.. sucks. But considering what could of happened I’m ok with it.

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u/sylbug Oct 20 '21

Just to be clear - you’ve not made any connection between being moved improperly and the severity of your injury?

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u/sylbug Oct 20 '21

You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t take advice from someone who thinks it’s a good idea to forego an ambulance after falling three stories, breaking multiple bones, and going into shock.

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u/AMC_Tendies42069 Oct 20 '21

It’s not like you know what’s exactly hurt when you fall. I knew something was wrong with my leg but no idea how bad it was. You don’t know what you’d do in situations like that.

And what advice am I giving?

Mad Karen energy, your the only person being negative here. Keep that shit on Facebook.

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u/romaraahallow Oct 21 '21

"Way over complicating a simple issue. Ambulances are for health emergencies. This was not.

I fell three stories on a construction site and broke my leg/knee/hip and got a ride from someone at the site. It was way quicker, I didn’t even think of calling an ambulance. If you can get there yourself why put strain on the system?"

You're actively encouraging people to forgo proper medical treatment for SERIOUS GODDAMN INJURIES.

In my teens and 20's I did parkour and was a bboy. I could drop off a story drop and roll out, or climb up a 13 ft wall with a running start... But goddamn if I fell 3 stories I would lay there and scream like a goddamn goat until someone called a team of professionals.

And this is coming from someone that's almost sawn a finger off with a sawzall and just taped it up(it still hurts).

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u/Beneficial-Oven1258 Oct 20 '21

Completely agree with you. It's crazy. We have such a massive problem with the opioid crisis.

On a personal level for my own and my loved ones safety , medical training was the solution I came up with.

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u/Beginning_Bed5420 Oct 20 '21

Was your life in immediate danger? If not, it’s preferred that you take yourself to the hospital if possible.

Ambulances should be reserved for time-sensitive, life threatening issues.

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u/HogwartsXpress36 Oct 20 '21

Reserved for going to repeat overdoses**

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u/tdpthrowaway3 Oct 20 '21

See in a place with a properly funded healthcare system, you would get an EMT out to check that. Because they are trained and the panicking person is too busy panicking.

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u/Just-a-Prof Oct 20 '21

Define “properly”

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u/QzJINU9I Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Yep, this is really the question I have.

If we want the EMS system to handle anyone who calls in wanting a ride to the hospital for any reason in the midst of an opioid crisis and once in a lifetime pandemic with zero wait times for anyone and no load shedding, we're going to need to expand it well beyond the level I think most people would support.

And then everyone's just going to complain because all the people we're now expediently transporting to hospitals with non-urgent issues are going to be waiting forever and we're going to need approximately infinity times the current number of doctors and nurses too.

I'm not trying to say there aren't systemic issues with BCEMS, but no matter what we do there's always going to have to be somewhere we draw the line. Where is that line for people?

I don't have the answer, but I think it's a "I'll know it when I see it" sorta thing. Someone whose legs get too tired while hiking and wants to go to a hospital having to wait for an ambulance is somewhere on the "acceptable" side of the line for me.

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u/trapacivet Oct 20 '21

I define "Properly" funded, as providing enough money for people to WANT to be Doctors, Nurses, Parmedics, etc within BC.

A friend of mine is qualified paramedic, but has quit. He lives un a rural area, and they require that you spend at least a certain number of days a week "On call" for $2/hr. On call but on call doesn't mean what regular jobs mean where you can go enjoy your day and come in if there's a need. Nope, on call means you need to stay close enough to the station to be able to be departing in a ambulance within 10 minutes.

In rural areas especially, but even in the city, that means they're saying "sit in the breakroom for 8 to 10 hours, for $2 per hour.

That's fucking stupid.

*Back to my original point, pay a full wage, and treat that like a shift, ... those kinds of measures wouldn't be needed in a properly funded system, and no, I'm not willing to distract from the need by trying to argue that it will cost us so much*

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u/Just-a-Prof Oct 20 '21

well, people certainly still want to be doctors (maybe not GPs, as much), but Med school is very much in demand.

nursing places are also highly oversubscribed.

i agree tho - paramedics deserve more.

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u/3nclave Oct 20 '21

This exactly.

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u/bridgemixture The next station is Oct 20 '21

No. Ambulances are for emergencies. OP was perfectly capable of getting to a hospital safely without paramedics. OP did not in any way need an ambulance. I'm not even sure OP really needed to go to the hospital in the first place.

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u/KBVan21 Oct 20 '21

I hate to say it, but why did you even call and ambulance in the first place?

You had someone with you, you were not dying in any way, bleeding heavily, unconscious or stopped breathing. (Please correct me if I’m am wrong in this as I’m not trying to be harsh in any way and if there’s more to the story then by all means share as much as you’d like about the medical situation as it may shed more light on the events)

Your call potentially meant an actual emergency was in a queue. Ambulance is, and should always be, last resort

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

No, if you're having a medical emergency you should be able to rely on the ambulance service to come. You should get triaged before being moved if you think being moved by an untrained person puts you at further risk.

I'm all for not wasting the ambulance services time with trivial shit, but you should expect them to come, that's what we pay our taxes for.

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

My take on this is that OP wanted an ambulance because they didn't feel safe getting to the hospital without it. They clearly feel strongly enough that they are posting on Reddit about how they are disappointed in the system for letting them down.

I'd rather live on a world where the ambulance service has enough capacity to come in these marginal cases. Obviously prioritozation had to happen in the case of a system beyond capacity, but is it so unreasonable to expect the system to be run in such a way as a few people who don't need help get it rather than a few that do are left without.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

OP wanted an ambulance because they didn't feel safe

Yes, feelings and wants should be used to determine ambulance use.

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u/canucks84 Oct 20 '21

I agree with you, but I'd meet you half way in saying that better public understanding and health education on what the difference between urgent and emergent medical situations would help.

Everyone who wants an ambulance should get one, agreed. But the world you want where we have the capacity to go to everyone that thinks they need one sees the cost of the service balloon to epic proportions. Were vastly underfunded as it is to get to real health emergencies. Someone's legs getting tired and giving out because of their chronic medical condition just plain isnt it.

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u/pineappletwist Oct 20 '21

Ambulance rides aren’t free. They will send you an invoice but it’s only like $80.

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u/D2ThaHizzle Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

“Expecting them to come” for “trivial shit” is exactly what “wasting the ambulance services time” is…

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

Are you sure? I expect an ambulance to come for non-trivial shit?

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u/darth_vadester Oct 20 '21

So if you twist your ankle you expect an ambulance to come get you, just because you feel you are entitled to that?

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u/oxxoMind Oct 20 '21

Stupid answer, it was suggested to use other means because there's a line up for request and his situation is not life threatening

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u/Macleod7373 Oct 20 '21

You want to pay that much more in taxes to get enough emergency services on the road to help non emergency people? You are wealthier than I am, friend!!

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u/randomnbvcxz Oct 20 '21

I’m confused. What exactly does “legs gave up” mean??

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u/ExplorerMuch Oct 20 '21

Dramatization for "legs became weak". If s/he collapsed and wasn't able to walk, they would just say that.

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u/thefish1974 Oct 20 '21

Legs gave up syndrome. It's the opposite of restless legs syndrome (restful legs syndrome).

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

From what I can see there is only one other post asking for counselling guidance.

How is that cringy?

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u/Parking-Ad-5145 Oct 21 '21

Last week, my hands were paralyzed randomly and I was trapped in my room, got my ass taken in an ambulance.

Plus they claim to be a young person with multiple chronic symptoms that doctors can't find a cause for, and dismiss advice for those in their life.

It's an oddly common type of attention seeking person on the internet.

Also wanting free counseling for witnessing a car accident where he wasn't involved and nobody he knew was involved, and he didn't see anything horrific (the worst thing he can describe is damage to a vehicle)is pretty cringe.

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u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21

Maybe they have a mental health condition?

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u/Mokot Oct 20 '21

Where's the emergency?

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u/hockey_addict Oct 20 '21

I know someone in the ambulatory service and many have left or are leaving. They have suffered mentally and physically over the last while. It's terrible what they have to go through. It comes to a point where health and sanity is more important.

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u/suncoastexpat Neo Luddites Untie Oct 20 '21

First things first. If you're going to go and explore the outdoors oh, you need to take responsibility for your own actions.

If you have it health issues, don't go walking around on 20 mile hikes on hiking trails that are practically abandoned half of the year.

Even before you go out and do that sort of thing, you should have at least a decent First Aid course under your belt and you should probably carry a first aid kit with you. Ambulance services or not so that you can get sag back to your house because you overdid it. Harsh thing to say, but it needs seeing downvote me all you want.

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u/Ok-Broccoli-454 Oct 20 '21

Lol even if you had waited an hour or two you’d still survive. Breathing. Talking. Alert. Others don’t have that luxury. So sit down and wait. Otherwise don’t complain that they’re prioritizing chest pain, strokes, severe bleeding and respiratory issues over you.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

I got taken in my own car

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

Lucky they had a friend there and a car. Lucky they didn't have complications on route, lucky it was safe to move them without medical training.

We should be able to rely on this service on a first world country. This is a significant failure of government.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

Here's some tips on when you should call 911 from a kid's website, just for you and OP:

*there's a fire

*someone has passed out

*someone suddenly seems very sick and is having a hard time speaking or breathing or turns blue

*someone is choking

*you see a crime happening, like a break-in

*you are in or see a serious car accident

Here's tips from an adult website

Events that involve an *immediate threat** to a person or property: screams, attacks, gunshots, fires, car accidents with injuries or any other medical emergency

*A substantive, in-progress crime. This includes fights, break and enters (if there is a suspect on scene) or a report of an impaired driver

*A serious crime that has just occurred (examples: sexual assault or robbery)

*A suspicious circumstance that may indicate an imminent criminal act (examples: prowler, vandal)

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

So, "or any other medical emergency"...

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

Events that involve an immediate threat to a person or property: screams, attacks, gunshots, fires, car accidents with injuries or any other medical emergency

.

immediate threat

I knew you weren't going to read that part.

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

I read it all, it seems to me.that perhaps you didn't before you cut and paste it.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

The fact that OP survived to tell his tale on Reddit means it wasn't an immediate threat.

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

If he'd died he wouldn't have posted in the first place.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

But he didn't die.

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u/bridgemixture The next station is Oct 20 '21

and was never in any risk of doing so

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u/equalizer2000 Oct 20 '21

There are things called Uber and Taxis. This wasn't an emergency.

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u/nickthaskater Oct 20 '21

Thankfully, I got taken in my own car but I am totally flabbergasted

At what point after writing this did you think this post would be well received? This illustrates that 911 made the right decision - you did not need an ambulance.

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u/Ok_Mouse_8669 Oct 20 '21

Legs giving out" is not even close to an emergency..

Why should an ambulance be wasted for that?

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

There were clearly other health issues at play here. You're hot take of the symptoms isn't a substitute for a properly functioning ambulance service.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

But the 911 operator used their judgement of OP's symptoms.

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u/Beginning_Bed5420 Oct 20 '21

There were clearly other health issues at play here

Oh, you must have taken OP's 911 call since you know about these other health issues at play here.

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u/PickUpTheSkagHobbit Oct 20 '21

See "(health issues)" in original post.

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u/Charming_Chemical822 Oct 20 '21

So OP should have told the 911 operator the health issues and if the health issues were extreme the 911 operator would have sent the ambulance or the health issues weren't extreme enough for the 911 operator to send an ambulance immediately

or

OP didn't tell the 911 operator the health issues and that is on OP

-34

u/theaceofspades1191 Oct 20 '21

I don’t think that’s the issue. If emergency response was funded properly you should be able to call them for things like that

27

u/Just-a-Prof Oct 20 '21

There’s a balance. It’s the snowplough situation. If we has 10x the number of crews, Reddit would be complaining that they sit around doing nothing half the time.

1

u/machone Oct 20 '21

And yet for some reason, nobody is bothered by the fact that fire fighters DO sit around waiting most of the time AND are paid a livable wage. I’m not disagreeing with you, but maybe most people’s judgment just isn’t a good compass to use to decide how to move forward.

1

u/Just-a-Prof Oct 20 '21

very true.

it must be all those half-naked calendars.

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u/Acceptable-Ant-2072 Oct 20 '21

OP digged his grave so far that I can see water coming out

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u/CCDubs Oct 20 '21

I love the update.

"Everyone else is wrong not me you all suck I'm not gonna even read your responses anymore you salty assholes."

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u/therealvisual Oct 20 '21

I have health issues that have resulted in severe mobility issues. When I have a flare that prevents me from walking, someone takes me to the hospital, an ambulance has never been considered.

21

u/unhelpful_question Oct 20 '21

OP the type of a guy to call firefighters to put out a candle.

10

u/ostentatiousbro Oct 20 '21

I'm calling the police because you offended me!

21

u/chardonneigh8 Oct 20 '21

When you say your legs gave up - does that imply that there is an immediate issue that needs to be resolved or it will get worse? Or is it not overly time sensitive? If it's the latter than I can see why they recommended a cab/Uber over an ambulance.

5

u/The-Scarlet-Witch Oct 20 '21

I'm all for everyone who can embracing physical activity within their means. You need to plan for medical emergencies as part of going into the great outdoors, especially at a time when medical resources are stretched thin. You also need to gauge the appropriate option for your medical issue.

An ambulance is appropriate for chest pains, a stroke, and life-threatening scenarios. The BC Ambulance Service is woefully underfunded (and with wages under $15/hour, no surprise), and with ambulances in short supply even in the Lower Mainland, yeah, you should be looking to other alternatives.

A better long-term approach here is making sure ambulance teams/paramedics get paid living wages on par with firefighters, for sure. I support any political efforts to make sure they get compensated fairly. We should bring it back as a Crown corporation where full benefits, unionization, and good wages for a career this pandemic proved essential.

5

u/Halfcut2021 Oct 20 '21

Urgent No! so STFU!

13

u/D2ThaHizzle Oct 20 '21

You sound pretty entitled… maybe you should reevaluate what your expectations are and what emergency services should place as priority

38

u/Just-a-Prof Oct 20 '21

It’s called triage.

11

u/QuestSixtyFour Oct 20 '21

"Fuck the BC government"

As you said, your expectations of how ambulances work are absolutely not realistic.

51

u/cliffordcampbell Oct 20 '21

You sound like the type of person who would yell a paramedic over this.

27

u/Kitchissippika Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Or who goes to the emergency room for a scraped knee or some bullshit. This is the kind of crap that taxes health services unnecessarily. If this is a known health issue that OP has it's their responsibility to plan for dealing with non life-threatening symptoms, not B.C. ambulance service.

Slow clap for managing to use their own car after all.

LMAO

B.C. ambulance service is a complete shitshow, we know this. But even in provinces where they don't have the same problems, pre-pandemic, medical health professionals all tell people to not take the system for granted because it's a limited resource.

They didn't refuse OP service, they just said look, there's people that are way sicker than you right now so it's faster if you take an Uber. This isn't the fault of the ambulance service, it's the fault of the government.

Dumbass requests like this just put more pressure on the people who are caught in the middle trying to save lives in this hellscape.

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u/bridgemixture The next station is Oct 20 '21

People who call 911 in non-emergency situations are a big part of why the waits are so bad.

If you are able to safely get yourself to hospital, you do not need an ambulance.

28

u/HarmonyJaye Oct 20 '21

We need to pay our paramedics and 911 responders appropriately and give them psych support

7

u/cointalkz true vancouverite Oct 20 '21

Well, this post sure backfired for the OP

3

u/ueeerrrrt Oct 20 '21

What if it’s lack of workers instead and they gotta prioritize other calls?

3

u/sylbug Oct 20 '21

The BC Ambulance service needs an overhaul, and the paramedics who do this critical work deserve fair compensation and reasonable working conditions.

It’s disgusting that this still needs saying in 2021.

9

u/CEOAerotyneLtd Oct 20 '21

that's sorta how things are going these days, system get's bogged down with non emergencies.....I remember going to emergency with a breathing issue and the amount of people there for superficial issues was a eye opener to me, you would be surprised how many people call a ambulance and go to emergency unnecessarily.

1

u/db37 Oct 20 '21

This can probably be linked to the ongoing shortage of primary care physicians in the province.

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u/WeightsAndTheLaw Oct 20 '21

So you want an ambulance for a chronic condition you’ve know about for a long time? Nah, you’re entitled af.

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u/loercase Oct 20 '21

Lol OP posted here expecting sympathy.

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u/kiiyopta Oct 20 '21

I had chest pain and the ambulance came as soon as I got thru to the call taker…getting thru took 20 minutes…

5

u/ShrimpGangster Oct 20 '21

You clearly didn’t need an ambulance. Hopefully lesson learned.

10

u/crap4you NIMBY Oct 20 '21

There seems to be multiple news stories on the regular about how delayed ambulances are. This has been on going for awhile now.

30

u/prostarrr Oct 20 '21

Sorry. Too many junkies to revive for the 5th time today. Figure your own shit out. Sincerely, BC Ambulance Service.

13

u/TZMarketing Oct 20 '21

Either pay for more paramedics, or don't call 911 unless you're dying or shot.

You could've gotten yourself to the hospital. It wasn't life threatening.

Its not a you problem, it's a government problem.

Any decent paramedic would've moved to Alberta by now. It's really not good for them in BC.

13

u/rainman_104 North Delta Oct 20 '21

It's really not good for them in BC.

Bingo. If we want people to enter the field, we can't be shipping them out to remote locations to gain enough seniority to work in their home region. It's a job that people do very much want to do, but to sit on call in a station at Boston Bar earning $2 an hour isn't a viable career strategy when they have bills to pay.

When people enter a career, they're at a massive disadvantage if they can't earn enough money to survive and need to lean on their support network until they can establish their careers.

And even then when you get a gig in the lower mainland, it's still really mediocre pay for the job they do. They have more training than the firefighter medical responders but earn far less.

A firefighter in Delta earns $120k a year. A paramedic earns $60k a year. That isn't right, given the training the paramedic has is much more intense than the medical responders from the firefighter team.

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u/greetingsfromcanada Oct 20 '21

When I was younger I thought about being in the ambulance service, but backed out once I realized how terrible the pay was and how long I'd have to wait to make a bad wage. BC has a shortage of people in the industry and it's entirely self inflicted

4

u/Envoymetal Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

My mother collapsed a few months ago and waited 3 hours for an ambulance to show up. If anyone has an emergency have a family member or friend drive you to the hospital. It doesn’t seem like this situation is going to change soon.

8

u/tripleaardvark2 🚲🚲🚲 Oct 20 '21

We desperately need two separate ambulance services. One just for overdoses/poisonings.

-4

u/Karthik0981 Oct 20 '21

We also need two types of prisons.

One for street junkies who break glass and steal bikes and one for all other types of criminals.

5

u/pyro-genesis Oct 20 '21

I think the new status-quo is that if you're not actively bleeding out then you're not getting priority. Which kinda sucks, but there's only so much our first-responders can do with their limited resources. The issue does need to be addressed, but in the mean time let's be prepared to help each other out as much as possible. I carry first-aid supplies, water, and snacks in my backpack everywhere I go and I'd encourage others to do the same. If we think somebody should do something, just remember we're all somebody.

2

u/Zoltair Oct 20 '21

Remember, ambulances cannot just drop a person off at the hospital, they have to wait until that person is processed at the emergency room, I've heard some ambulances are waiting hours to unload patients mostly due to overflow from covid patients taking all the rooms/beds and staff time.

2

u/tehdark45 Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

There is a very complex equation here:

Are you dying? Will you die if not treated soon? No?

Sorry, you won't be priority. Does it suck? Sure. But should the guy suffering a heart attack die because your legs gave out? No.

It's not a matter of you not mattering, it's a case of your situation was not emergent, and they have to make the best use of what there is.

But feel free to ignore my comment because "I don't know the story".

PS even if we lived in perfect land where there are an abundance of EMS 24/7, you would still be placed on the low priority list.

3

u/Nebilungen Oct 20 '21

OP puts a post out, then says comments full of people that don't know the whole story.

Get roasted OP. You are the reason 911 lines are clogged. Karma whoring.

4

u/randomwordsmona Oct 20 '21

So you bit off more than you could chew on a hike and got exhausted. It happens.

It's not really a big deal and not ambulance worthy. And if you were far enough in the medics aren't going to be hiking into you anyway, stretchers don't exactly work on hiking trails. You'd need SAR if it was a real life and limb situation.

Sit your ass down, stay warm, eat a bunch of food to get your energy back up and then walk out with your friends help.

You were prepared with emergency blankets, extra food, first aid supplies, lights and were prepared to spend the night if you had to right?

This was not an emergency.

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u/growlerlass Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

If I was having a health issue like this I would 100% want to feel supported and looked after. I'm sorry you went through this, it must have been frustrating, and I would also have been scared. Like you, I would have thought that when I need help it would be there for me.

Also, it sounds like they were willing to take you but you would have to wait. Long wait times are defiantly an issue with ambulances, with seniors with broken hips shitting themselves because they can't be moved. Sad.

And you were able to take yourself, so in your case things worked out even though it was frustrating and disappointing experience.

Thanks for sharing. Next time I need help I'm going to take some time to think if I can get myself to the hospital or nor not and adjust my expectations.

3

u/Berly653 Oct 20 '21

Well this post didn’t go as OP expected I imagine

2

u/joey0nly Oct 20 '21

You soft

2

u/CCDubs Oct 20 '21

"Thank god people aren't salty bitches like this in real life."

Other than, apparently, OP. Yeesh.

2

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

"thank god people aren't salty bitches like this in real life" this coming from the salty bitch complaining a they had a friend to help them, but was too pussy shit so they called an ambulance for no good reason at all.

You clearly didn't check in with a doctor, they would have told you not to do this. You have all but yourself to blame for everything, but you'll deny that and shit on me too, it's okay.

1

u/kiukiumoar Oct 20 '21

i think people have a misconception that an ambulance is somehow magical and that they can heal you while you're in it. the reality is EMS and ambulances are basically people with way better first aid training than most regular people, but they aren't doctors nor do they have the neccessary equipment for anything other than trying to get you to the hospital as quickly as possible without making your condition worse. this means 1. you only need an ambulance if your condition is so bad you NEED to be going to the hospital. 2. you only need the ambulance if you can't get to the hospital yourself faster or without significantly worsening the injury. which generally means no one around you knows anything about basic first aid, or you are unable to get to a vehicle. keep in mind ambulances have to get to you and then back to the hospital whereas if you have a vehicle nearby, you only have to go one direction. basically 99% of the time, if you can call for an ambulance yourself, there is no need for an ambulance.

7

u/Glass-Ad2877 Oct 20 '21

It's a bit of an understatement to call paramedic training "better first aid training". Im an advanced care paramedic in alberta and our scope of practice might surprise you. We can intubate, perform cricothyrotomies, cardiovert, perform transcutaneous pacing, initiate intraosseous lines, we can run a cardiac arrest to advanced cardiac life support standards, we have dozens of medications including epinepbrine, narcotics, benzodiazepines, vasopressors and cardiac meds like metoprolol and adenosine. We can phone physicians to give us orders for complicated patients. And in alberta we can actually give thrombolytics during some heart attacks in consultation with a cardiologist. To get my current designation took about 3 years of schooling where as advanced first aid is a 2 week course I believe. Its what most metro firefighters have and frankly they aren't that useful during an emergency. Part of the reason no one wants to fund ambulances is because everyone thinks we are ambulance drivers with a bit of medical training sprinkled in. You're right that we usually can't definitively fix patients but we can stabilize and treat symptoms better than any first aider would ever be able to.

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u/Cannapsilo Oct 20 '21

Ambulances are too busy reviving the same group of crack heads multiple times per day

-1

u/JiNCMG Oct 20 '21

In the US that Ambulance will cost you 11k. I rather walk miles with a broken leg than call.

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u/ABoredChairr Oct 20 '21

Ambulance will not come unless you are dying in 5 minutes. Thanks to our lenient policy on drugs

5

u/awkwardtap Oct 20 '21

Thanks to our lenient policy on drugs

It's more likely our archaically strict policy on drugs. Create a safe supply and there won't be as many overdoses.

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1

u/SitDown- Oct 20 '21

You would rather pay 1k for one ride by an abalamps, than have an Uber ride for $$40 or call family for a free ride?

0

u/fat_bjpenn Oct 20 '21

I'd be flabbergasted too if they told me to walk it off.

-9

u/streetgospel Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21 Helpful

As someone with a chronic illness i'm floored by the comments. Losing complete control of your legs, while hiking, is absolutely grounds for calling an ambulance. If this is a common symptom of your health condition, sure, perhaps you could do without an ambulance, but people in the comments are acting as if they are all medical professionals able to triage you. Even with having your friend there, this is implying that your friend is able to carry you down from the hike and also implies your friend is capable of driving. If you were alone, the operator might have prioritised an ambulance but this sub would just say, "well, you should have crawled on your elbows!". It sounds like the operator gathered enough information to decide that you weren't high risk enough to require an ambulance, but this is because our system is failing due to under-funding emergency services. OP, you're more than in the right to feel this way towards your experience. Just because other people assume its not life-threatening doesn't mean it can't be, and that's why we need adequate funding for emergency services.

Edit: yeah yeah, Vancouver sub downvotes are expected

5

u/canucks84 Oct 20 '21

The operator assessing the patient and determining they didnt need an ambulance is an example of the system working correctly.

Perhaps a visit from the fire department might have been warranted, but the ambulance is for emergencies - life and limb threatening issues.

0

u/streetgospel Oct 20 '21

I mean, unless we have the code of standards and practice by 911 operators and access to the transcript of the call, it's hard to determine all the details and we could argue this back and forth all day.

2

u/Different-General-23 Oct 20 '21

If only there was a person who could provide that information in this very thread...

-8

u/BrilliantNothing2151 Oct 20 '21

That sucks to hear, driving around administering Nalaxone to the same people over and over again take priority I guess

-13

u/Redneckshinobi Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Funny because in my city if the cops catch you driving yourself to the hospital (happened to my dad) they will force you to take an ambulance and tow your car. My dad got both the tow/storage and ambulance charge reversed but it's sad that here you can't even get one to show up.

Edit: I wasn't talking about this particular situation, I was just making a comment about how in my city they will force you and we have a surplus of ambulance and EMT and we seem to have the opposite problem here. Not sure why all the downvotes lol

3

u/thefish1974 Oct 20 '21

"Driving yourself to the hospital? Straight to jail."

11

u/aliasbex PM ME UR SUNSETS Oct 20 '21

Where is that?

13

u/-40- Oct 20 '21

Made up land

2

u/equalizer2000 Oct 20 '21

I'd like to visit some day, so I too can share some wild stories from that place.

0

u/whoopsea Oct 20 '21

Read the post again. They got taken there in their own car, which means they weren’t driving.

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u/Different-General-23 Oct 20 '21

If you weren't talking about this particular situation then why didn't you put that in there in the first place? The way you phrased your original post it was clear that you were directly commenting on the post (well, your misunderstanding of it). Your edit is really you trying to save face rather than admit that you misread it, or that you posted a non-sequitor.

1

u/Redneckshinobi Oct 20 '21

Because it's a similar situation....

Also if someone else was driving my dad the police would have still made them take an ambulance so it's completely relevant to this situation. The fact that you and that other guy think it's not is pretty ridiculous.

-11

u/Ontario0000 Oct 20 '21

I know if you call a EMS for a non life threatening situation you will be charged a large fee.Thats how it works in Ontario Im sure its the same in BC.

-8

u/Sedated_Cat Oct 20 '21

Half the ambulances are on main and Hastings.

-18

u/Dalqorn Oct 20 '21

Look they have to choose between you and your legs or Billy on his 6th overdose this week. Next time say you OD'd and can't feel your legs then you will get service.

-24

u/the_poo_goblin Oct 20 '21

If they could blame covid for this they would.

Covid and anti vax'ers have become the catch all excuse for our healthcare system. It's scary how easily overwhelmed our system is, I shudder to think any post earthquake rush to the ER's if 100 people with a cough overwhelmes it.

5

u/LSF604 Oct 20 '21

pre canned rant

-1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

One of the main problems with BCEHS is completely under-qualified middle management, if you think the government doesn’t care about improving the system neither do these people. They’re happy to collect the salary given to them and bully their employees into thinking it’s their problem.

-8

u/Somedumbshitprolly Oct 20 '21

Don’t let Reddit assholes get to you, people like to assume they understand the entire situation based on their own personal biases and bitterness-

You were in the right to call 911, but the operator was correct in recommending an Uber, as ambulances are in limited supply and they need to prioritize cases where the person could be in immediate danger of dying(heart attacks, shooting/stabbing injuries, etc.)

It sucks, the way the government treats EMTs/ambulance usage & the people who need those services is shit, but this is just the way it is for now 😕

-5

u/EE__Student Oct 20 '21

I agree with you, this situation was clearly explained with the top comment, yet the amount of angry people....... Lmfao

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1

u/noasparagus12 Oct 20 '21

While I agree the ambulance service is in need of reform, people also clog the system with non life/limb/health threatening non emergencies like this which delays response to critical emergencies where seconds count.

The ambulance service is currently overwhelmed right now so please take some personal responsibility and don't contribute to the major backlog we have.

I will probably be downvoted as sometimes people have no other options but for the majority of cases, people call for an ambulance when they did not need pre hospital care and could've easily gotten to the hospital on their own.

1

u/VevroiMortek Oct 20 '21

What is the health issue? If it isn't life threatening then I'd say its alright