Station First Impressions

I’m feeling pretty tired today. Barely slept the last couple of days because a friend came over from the islands, and I also took two shifts with SJA then had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get to my station for my orientation.

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Misty Mountains

It took a good several hours of driving at 100-120km/hr to get to the station, but it was quite a beautiful drive.  Zooming through the rocky tunnels, with not a building in sight, winding through the mountains and seeing the misty clouds shift as it rolled down through the trees with a turquoise river roaring and twisting below.    A bit surreal, that area.  As if it couldn’t get any better, my ipod starts playing Vancouver City feat. Linda Ganzini through my car’s speakers, it was the perfect song that matched the landscape.

I have to say I really like the station I’m starting off in so far.  The paramedics I met there that day were very friendly, and the UC seems like an awesome person.  For me, the perk is that there’s a gym there (if you could call it a gym–a couple of scattered machines and a punching bag), which I like because I can get some exercise instead of sitting around the whole day if it’s quiet.  Oh did I forget to mention that there’s also wii there?  Hmmm I think I’m beginning to like remote stations more an more 😉

I found out that we were the only medical facility for that area, there are no medical care for a good 1-1.5hr drive (going at 110km/hr) north or south.  A nurse practitioner comes up once a week here to provide medical care for those in need.  The rest of the time, if anything happens, it’s on us, so drop-ins for sprained ankles and other minor injuries isn’t uncommon.  The ambulance station seems to take on a whole new perspective in this area than in the big cities.  It has a more integrated relationship with the people here, which I like.

I would say it was a good start so far and I’m excited for my first actual shift 😀

Orientation Information

For those who are interested about what the orientation involved, here’s a general overview:

The orientation is supposed to be 8hrs, but my UC split it into 4hrs (a more manageable chunk since there’s a lot of information).  The 4hr orientation involved going through a lot of different paperwork (employment papers, PCIS, pay forms, car forms, accident/incident forms etc etc), a tour/general overview of the station and how it runs, ordering of uniform (boots, socks, jackets, shirts, pants, toques, cap, belt etc).  You also get a penlight, glove pouch, trauma shear, notepad, safety glasses, and restraints for free.  So it feels a little bit like christmas, where you’re showered with EMS gifts.

The next 4hrs I will be doing on my first shift is the area orientation.  Until I do my driving courses and code 3 (lights and sirens) driving course I won’t be allowed to drive the ambulance around.  In other words I’ll always have to be the attendant until I’ve completed all of that.

There’s also new employee orientation/coursework to complete within the 6-months probationary period.  This package will be sent from HR along with the employment letter once your UC has confirmed that you are hired.


4 thoughts on “Station First Impressions

  1. I’m interested in doing the EMR program at the JI and applying for a job with BCAS.
    How many shifts per month did you have to do and how many hours of driving did it take to get to your station?


    1. The number of shifts depends on the station and staffing (the more staff there are, then the fewer shifts you have to do at your station and the more you can put into other busier stations, the fewer staffs, then the more shifts you will have to do at your home station). Minimum amount of shifts per month to keep your seniority is 8 shifts (or 4 days back to back). Generally I work about 2-3 days back to back at my home station if I submit minimum shifts (4-6 shifts). You can of course submit full availability, as in the whole month if that’s what your heart desires.

      As for driving…that depends on where you are stationed, the drive when you first start off can be anywhere from 2hrs to 4hrs+ (if you accept stations further away).

      Hope that helps!

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