About two dozen ambulance personnel, first responders and local politicians joined BCAS local and regional representatives for the official opening of the new Revelstoke ambulance station on Feb. 1. The ceremony was brief — a few brief speeches, a ribbon cutting then coffee and cake. The gallery above contains images from the ceremony. Below is a story first published on Jan. 4 when the Times Review visited the new BCAS Revelstoke station for a sneak peek.
New Revelstoke BCAS station now in operation
By Aaron Orlando, Revelstoke Times Review
Revelstoke paramedics moved into their new Revelstoke BCAS station just in time for the busy holiday season.
The new wood frame, red cedar-clad building is located at 900 Oscar Street, at the corner of Edward Street at the entrance to the industrial park.
BCAS Revelstoke Unit Chief John Warren last week led me on a brief tour of the new facility, which has been in operation since Dec. 21.
The 3,186 square-foot building is located on a 10,064 square-foot lot that the BCAS bought from the City of Revelstoke in March of 2008. Including land and construction, the B.C. government spent $2 million on the station.
The station has two heated indoor ambulance bays, as well as one outdoor covered area that will house a multi-casualty unit. “The multi-casualty unit … provides additional medical supplies in the event of a large-scale emergency in the area, will be again based in Revelstoke and stored in a covered bay at the station so it can be deployed on short notice,” says Warren. The unit had been located in Sicamous. It is used in major events, such as the 2010 Boulder Mountain avalanche disaster.
The HVAC system in the ambulance bays area improves air quality and makes servicing the vehicles easier.
The building is wired so that it can be hooked up to a diesel generator in the event of a prolonged power outage.
Leading into the building from the bays, there is a locker room and a decontamination area with showers.
Four small, Spartan bedrooms line the northern side of the building. A hallway leads out to the main communal area, which includes kitchen facilities.
There is also an office area for the unit chief and one for the paramedics.
“The new station was designed and developed with staff health and safety in mind which will aid both our paramedics and their patients,” said BCAS Chief Operating Officer Les Fisher. “The garage has a state-of-the-art HVAC system to quickly clear exhaust which enables crews to clean and stock the ambulances in an ideal environment. There is also a specified decontamination area for paramedics to clean up when required which reduces the spread of illness and disease.”
In a tour of the locker room and decontamination room, Warren explains that procedures focus on preventing the spread of disease to paramedics and patients, giving the 2003 SARS coronavirus as an example.
According to statistics provided by the BCAS, paramedics in Revelstoke responded to 598 pre-hospital and 284 inter-facility patient transfer calls in 2009-10.
Just as our tour was wrapping on Dec. 31, Warren and paramedic Jill Mackenzie added one more call to the tally, heading off to a motor vehicle incident just up the hill on Oak Drive.
An official grand opening ceremony will be held soon.