Following the deaths of CUPE B.C. paramedics Kim Weitzel and Shawn Currier comes a report with several key recommendations from B.C.’s chief mine inspector, Fred Hermann.
The report, released in October 2006, presents Hermann’s conclusions about the causes of the fatalities and recommendations to ensure the safety of emergency responders. It is aimed at the British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS), which is the employer of B.C.’s paramedics.
The recommendations include:
- Training for paramedics on how to recognize and safeguard against hazards they could encounter on a mine site.
- Accompaniment of paramedics by a qualified representative designated by the mine.
- Ambulances to be equipped with up-to-date emergency response guidebooks.
Hermann acknowledged that the deaths of the CUPE paramedics and the two mine technicians were unprecedented for occurring in a sampling shed. However, he pointed out that basic hazard recognition training could have helped save Currier, who entered the shed to aid Weitzel.
As hazard recognition training hasn’t existed, B.C. paramedics have asked the BCAS to review policies, putting the emphasis on safety awareness. In response, the BCAS has set up an “implementation team” to put Hermann’s recommendations into action.