Lobbying for better helicopter ambulance service for Northern B.C.

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

24 year old Jackie Inyallie, having already earned her welding ticket, left her home in Prince George on November 21, 2009 for her first job in Dawson Creek. That was a snowy day, when highway conditions turned treacherous, and just south of McLeod Lake she collided with an oncoming vehicle, leaving her trapped in the vehicle with a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken arm. When the ambulance crew finally arrived, she was still alive, but she later died, on route to MacKenzie hospital.

Since then Spence and her husband have been lobbying for Northern B.C. helicopter ambulance service, but Les Fisher, the chief operating officer of B.C. Ambulance Service, says it doesn’t make sense, because helicopters can’t get to B.C.’s trauma units without refuelling. A recent report from B.C.’s Auditor General only concluded the ambulance service had some safety and understaffing issues to address.

Instead, Spence hopes an organization called Northern B.C. HEROS can save lives where the B.C. ambulance service cannot, as HEROS is now working on a business plan to bring non-profit helicopter ambulances to remote corners of the province.

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