Former councilor, police chief, NDP minister among board members to monitor BC ambulance response

Vancouver –

Nearly four months after the health minister announced new oversight of BC Emergency Health Services with a new chairman, the rest of the board was announced to staff in an internal memo received by CTV News.

Adrian Dix appointed Jim Chu, former head of the Vancouver Police Department, as chairman of BCEHS back in July, when he announced a revision of the board in the wake of hundreds of deaths caused by the summer heat dome, but the province still has not. publicly confirmed who will make up the rest of the board.

On Tuesday afternoon, BCEHS staff received a note from Chu with the names of the following board members:

  • Doug LePard, former deputy chief of staff at VPD and former chief of Metro Vancouver Transit Police
  • Kerry Jang, former Vancouver City Councilman and current professor of psychiatry at UBC, where he researches mental illness and urban health
  • Elizabeth Cull, a former NDP MLA who served as Minister of Health and then Finance in the 1990s
  • Colleen Austin, a former teacher and former president of the First Nations School Association of BC
  • Lauren Brown, a native leader, consultant and executive coach who sits on the minister’s advisory council for native women

“These six excellent people bring a wide range of knowledge and experience and will help us focus on improving our service in all areas,” Chu wrote in the note, where he also discussed taking on ride-alongs, learning about the organization and hear. from frontline dispatchers and paramedics.

Despite injections of funding and commitments to improve response times, long waits for ambulances remain common in BC, and the service has been put under special control for its handling of the heat dome.

Last week, the official opposition to the NDP government hammered after receiving a lot of documents through the Freedom of Information process, showing that the management of E-Comm 911 had warned of critical staff shortages at the ambulance dispatch section of the system, resulting in backlog throughout the system . the first responder network and led to public safety concerns, which were largely ignored.

In July, Dix had also announced that Darren Entwhistle, president and CEO of Telus, would serve as special adviser to the board, while Leanne Heppell, a trained nurse and director at Providence Health, was appointed interim ambulance chief. None of them were mentioned in Chu’s Tuesday note.

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