Hot on the heels of its grand opening, the new ambulance dispatch centre, station and training facility on Leigh Road was celebrated Sept. 25.
The new facility is a first of its kind for BC Ambulance Service, built specifically for dispatch and ambulance operations. Some of the unique features include 33 kilometres of cable to support the dispatch operations systems, removable floor for maintenance purposes and separate areas designed for paramedic and dispatcher training.
“We have multiple consoles that we look after,” said Gordon Kirk, director of dispatch for B.C. Emergency Health Services. “We have the mapping (and) information about the calls, as well as screens that come up that give instructions that are given to the caller on the phone about how to save a life. … We are getting the actual caller to be the first responder.”
Officials tout the Leigh Road site as a good fit for emergency response, close to the interchange providing speedy access to Highway 1.
“When you think about the community the real comfort is knowing (the emergency responders) are fast and close by,” said Coun. Lillian Szpak, protective services chair. “We are also thrilled at the dozens and dozens of jobs here.”
The centre receives 3,800 emergency calls per year and employs 35 full- and part-time employees.