Firefighters can now help more during emergencies

DELTA – Council has given Delta firefighters the green light to provide enhanced emergency medical care.

Mayor Lois Jackson said there’s “absolutely no question” Delta’s firefighters are arriving at calls “way before an ambulance can.”

Council gave its final approval Monday to amend the Delta Fire Regulation Bylaw considering most calls to the fire department for help involve crashes or medical crises and firefighters are generally quicker to arrive.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Jackson said. “I guess I wouldn’t be a very good mayor if I didn’t provide that service if I could.”

Asked if she thinks this move will save lives, Jackson replied, “It could, yes.”

A report to council from Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland noted most firefighters in B.C. are limited to providing basic assistance in life-threatening situations.

Delta is unique in that its three communities of North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen are widely separated by farmland and Burns Bog. To compensate for this, Delta’s seven firehalls are strategically located so firefighters can reach any call for help within three to eight minutes.

“The BC Ambulance Service does not have the resources to be able to consistently match those response times,” Copeland told council.

He said all Delta’s fire trucks are expected to be equipped with the necessary gear firefighters need by the end of this week.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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