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November 10, 1999, Richmond BC– A doctors office faced with a patient who needed immediate transport to the hospital tried calling 911 five times last Thursday and continued to receive the Telus messagea006c006c0020circuits are busy, try your call again later.

Finally a call was placed to BC Ambulance Services non-emergency number and an ambulance was dispatched immediately.

John Strohmaier, Vice-President of CUPE Local 873, Ambulance Paramedics said, “if this is whats happening on a Thursday afternoon, what can we expect on New Years Eve or during a disaster that could happen at any time.”

“We have to continue alerting the Lower Mainland public that there are serious problems with the E-Comm system as it exists todaya006e00640020the result is bound to be an increasing number of mishaps and lost chances to save peoples lives.” said Strohmaier.

“I dont know what it is going to take to get the Provincial Government and E-Comm to start dealing with the serious problems faced by the system this organization has put in place to manage emergency dispatches in one of the most densely populated regions of the country, but we intend to keep up the pressure.”

Information: John Strohmaier, Vice-President, CUPE Local 873 728-2742

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