It’s Official

UC:  “Welcome to the zoo.”

So I guess this is it. I don’t even know what to say, aside from I can’t believe it’s happening! To be honest, it still hasn’t really hit home yet.

I got the call from my Unit Chief (UC) and my official start date with BCAS.  I was very tentative with this call because I will be out of the country for two weeks very soon for family things and also with schooling starting soon I wasn’t sure how she’ll take it.  However, the UC sounded very easy-going and nice on the phone and was extremely accommodating.  She said we’ll work things out, but lets get you started and through the door first.  She briefly described the whole process with the 8hr orientation, area orientation and driving orientation.  Sounds like a lot to learn and a huge learning curve.  However, all of that will be broken down into smaller increments, so it’ll be easier for me to digest.

As for me starting the PCP program in January.  She said I don’t get a leave of absence, that that’s only for PCP upgrading to ACP.  I will have to check that, as I swear I’ve read somewhere during my jurisprudence exam readings that I do.  Anyways she said I won’t get more than 3-4 shifts a month even though I have to submit at least 8 shifts a month to stay as an employee.  She’ll also make sure I get the weekend shifts….so I’ll have to see how that goes.  I think it’s the commute that’ll kill me on the weekends along with the studying, unless I get no calls, then I can study at the station.

Anyways enough of me blabbing useless and boring information to you, I’ll let you know how my orientation goes in the coming week.


7 thoughts on “It’s Official

  1. Several classmates of mine in PCP had received a leave of absence to do the course. Unless things have changed, then you should be able to take 6 months off and keep building your seniority.

    1. Hmmm yeah. That’s what I’ve been told by a lot of people. I’ll figure it out with the UC when we meet up.

      It’d be a bit stressful to do shifts and the course, since it’s quite a compact course.

  2. Hi Again,

    So I got my call. I am going to be stationed in Princeton. Next Tuesday would be my first orientation day. I’m pretty excited.

    This brings new questions.

    I have decided (so far) that I would not be taking time off for PCP and that I would try to work during the program so that my 6-months probation will continue to run. Princeton is only 2.5-3hr drive from Vancouver and (right now) I am willing to go back and forth while in the program.

    Since, you were not allowed to take time off for the PCP program:
    How easy/hard did you find balancing weekday school load and working weekends?
    How many shifts where you able to do comfortably in a month that you did not feel that you were playing “catch-up” with your school load?

    I haven’t talked to the unit chief about this but he knows that I will be starting the PCP program on April. I can probably do 3 shifts a month. They do block scheduling in Princeton: fox/kilo/fox.

    Should I try to work or do you strongly advice not to work while in the program?

    Aaron Quiambao

    1. Hi Aaron,

      Congrats on getting into Princeton. I currently have some friends up there, and I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun.

      My first station while I was doing the PCP program was 2.5hrs drive from Vancouver. I told my U/C my situation and I only submitted my minimum number of shifts required to keep my seniority going (8shifts a month). Out of the 8 shifts, I only got 2-4shifts a month. My station was relatively quiet, so it worked out for me. I would go up there for the weekends and I would basically study when not on a call, or bring my textbook with me when on a crosscover (also your colleagues are great resources as well! And you can practice calls at the stn or practice with the equipment).

      The PCP course load is intense, mostly because it is so jammed pack. I think you will do fine if you submit your minimum 8 shifts, have a chat with your U/C and ask if they can accommodate you and only use your shifts as they need it (aka give you as few shifts as possible).

      1. Just an FYI, for anyone else reading this (I know people google this blog), the info your unit chief gave you was WRONG! You were entitled to have a full leave of absence for your entire PCP program. It’s in writing, in the BCAS intranet and union site. It’s called “LOA F3.01”. It was signed in 2005. It states the following:


        The parties acknowledge the personal cost and commitment in achieving the training level of PCP and ACP.

        When an employee is participating and attending a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) or an Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) course from an approved training agency the following principles will apply to the application of F3.01:

        1) Employees will report training days to the Unit Chief every month at the same cut-off date as submission of availability.

        2) Each training day will be recognized as one shift of availability.

        3) Employees impacted by any previous interpretation of this clause will apply to Human Resources with their training information to have their date re-adjusted. This must be completed by August 31, 2005.

        4) The Parties agree any lateral transfer effected to date will not be impacted by this agreement.

        5) This agreement does not impact the previous LOU regarding F3.01 signed January 27, 2005.

        6) This agreement is effective November 15, 2004.

        Signed by Bronwyn Barter (Union) and Sandra Noel (Employer)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s