In addition to providing emergency medical and non-emergency transport services, the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) also offers contracted paramedic services at major public and international events, professional sporting events, movie sets and community fairs. Such events include: the Celebration of Lights in Vancouver, the Penticton Ironman Triathlon and the Symphony Splash in Victoria.
BCAS was also one of the first North American Emergency Medical Services agencies to organize and deploy paramedics on bicycles for major public events where crowds can limit access and speed of response for normal ambulance vehicles. First implemented in the Victoria in 1992, BCAS bike squads currently operate in Vancouver, Victoria, and Kamloops, as well as their neighbouring communities.
The primary objective of the BCAS bike squad is to provide rapid response through congested areas, allowing paramedics to arrive at the patient’s side faster than a traditional ambulance might. Providing emergency medical services at a variety of special events including the Canada Day parade and Tall Ships event in Victoria and the Vancouver Car Free Day, bike squad members also work to deliver bike safety and injury prevention tips to the public to ensure that members of their community stay safe.
BCAS also has paramedic staffed Gators that can be deployed for use in congested urban areas or back country regions where access is difficult. Each Gator is licensed for street use and can operate up to 50 km/hr. In addition to packing crew and medical supplies, each Gator is equipped with a mobile stretcher for transporting patients. Since their initial deployment at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, the Gators have proven to be an invaluable resource for emergency medical response within mass-gathering environments.
The Special Operations Division can be reached at 604-930-6537 or fax 604-930-6535.