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VANCOUVER The Ambulance Paramedics of British Columbia are calling on the minister of health to investigate a tendering process that led to the elimination of a Vancouver Island-based air ambulance service.

B.C.’s 3,000 ambulance paramedics are upset and concerned that the process excluded a Victoria-based helicopter service from providing service to the islands.

“The service cut may have the unintended effect of providing less service for more money,” CUPE Local 873 provincial president John Strohmaier said. “The process must be transparent and open to any citizen.”

While an increase in air ambulance helicopter service in the Lower Mainland is welcomed, such a measure should not be at the expense of island residents, Strohmaier added.

“The true costs of this debacle can be counted in lives. Also, the move leaves potential patients with no backup in case weather curtails the Vancouver operation.

Integrity, transparency and fairness ought to be the hallmark of any tendering process, Strohmaier said.


John Strohmaier, President, CUPE Local 873, 604-728-2741;
Rick Atkinson, Regional Vice-President, 250-888-2454