Wednesday, December 5, 2012
EMS Volunteers in Beiseker
The Beiseker Fire Department is in the process of creating a team of trained volunteers to provide EMS services to residents. These volunteers would not be full firefighters and would not respond to call outs in full firefighting Turnout Gear. They would respond to medical emergencies to provide first aid and other basic life support skills for which they have been given training. They would wait there with the patient until the ambulance arrives.
I have been informed that many of those wishing to volunteer for this team are health care professionals and would not require extensive training.
But we've been told by some that the creation of our medical response team leaves the village dangerously vulnerable as far as liability issues are concerned (see this article in the Rocky View Weekly). Those volunteers responding to a medical emergency may be highly trained but should not do anything more than comfort the patient while they wait for the ambulance.
On the other hand, Alberta Health Services has a set of policies governing these kinds of response teams and what they can and cannot do.
The way I understand it we are well within our rights to create such a team. We're going to have to investigate this until we are satisfied that all of our concerns have been addressed.
We're going ahead with the creation of the team. But it will not be activated until Council is positive we are not placing our volunteers in any legal danger.
If you're a resident of the Village of Beiseker and wish to be a part of this team, come to the meeting tonight (that's Wednesday, December 5) at the Beiseker Fire Hall at 7:00 p.m.