The high volume of ambulance calls in Penticton on Wednesday morning (March 16) resulted in a 42-minute delayed response to a 15-year-old who suffered a neck injury on the ice at Memorial Arena in Penticton.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) received a call at 11:14 a.m. about an incident that occurred during the West Canada small hockey tournament in Penticton.
A 15-year-old player sustained a serious neck injury on the ice but was not treated by local paramedics for 42 minutes until 11:56 am.
“There was a higher volume of calls at Penticton (yesterday) this morning, with several incidents requiring a lengthy response,” a BCEHS spokesperson wrote to Western News by email.
“In addition, several crew members were tied up in the hospital’s emergency department. We apologize for the wait – we know waiting for an ambulance can be stressful.”
Prior to the arrival of the ambulance, local firefighters arrived at the scene just before 11:20 am to provide first aid to the hockey player.
The provincial health service said waiting times for ambulances in Penticton on Wednesday were “longer than average.”
“BCEHS responds to the most critical and injured patients first, by prioritizing ambulance responses based on the medical priority dispatch system in use around the world,” the email added.
The Canadian Sports School Hockey League Western Championship landed at the local arena of Penticton this week, welcoming 80 teams from as close as Vancouver Island to as far as Manitoba.
Players aged 13 to 18 took part.
Injured players were transported to hospital after a 42-minute wait after several ambulance crews were placed in the hospital’s emergency department.
“Our dispatch has a process in place to escalate calls to a higher priority response if a patient’s condition worsens,” the BCEHS concluded.
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