Paramedic shortages became a chronic issue across Canada throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to be seen to a greater degree in more remote areas of northern B.C.
As a response to the dire need for paramedics in the region, Hecate Strait Employment Development Society (HSEDS) and BCEHS is introducing a new paramedic training program starting Sept. 12, 2022 – with full comprehensive training and certification costs covered by BC Emergency Health Services.
There are 12 openings for the program, and all 12 participants are guaranteed to be hired immediately upon passing the course.
The program includes a three-week Emergency Medical Responder course in Prince Rupert facilitated by the Justice Institute of British Columbia, from Sept. 12 to 29, with Remedial Exam Oct 1.
This is followed by health and fitness testing and further training in Vancouver, with all expenses covered, including flights, accommodations, per diem, and salary while in Vancouver.
Participants must be 19 or older, able to pass the fitness test (show ability to carry gurneys and equipment) and possess a class 4 drivers license. Driver training is facilitated by Philcan Professional Driving School, Oct. 17 to 28 (course not funded).
“We are very appreciative of all of the partners that are making this program possible,” says Training Coordinator Danielle Dalton. “It literally takes a village!”
Hecate Strait Employment Development Society is a non-profit training centre that’s been providing programs and supports to Prince Rupert and area for more than 25 years. Their services support job-seekers, new entrepreneurs, and employers by delivering workforce development programs, training and assessments, and immigration/settlement services.
Courses offered include Food Safe training, Life Skills, Construction Safety, Blade Runners, Gear Up, Skills Highway, mature workers programs, English classes and much more.
They serve as a satellite hub for St. Johns Ambulance, and with Work BC Employment office. Hecate Strait has an up-to-date job board for the Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii, and Bella Bella areas.
To further emphasize the immediate need for new paramedics in northern BC, Dalton says “I would be surprised if we’re not inundated with applications from interested people. If we were, it would give us the opportunity to start another course right away. I would be terribly disappointed if no one jumped on that fully funded opportunity and make a difference in their communities.”
For more information or to register to be one of 12 new paramedics, call 250-624-9498 ext. 2001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.