I would like to weigh in on this whole airport, airevac thing.
I’ve been a paramedic in B.C. for nearly a decade, having spent five years serving the Lakes District as one of the local paramedics and firefighters.
Living in the north people have limited access to medical coverage as it is. Air ambulances are staffed with critical care paramedics who can provide pretty much everything short of surgery to their patients. They are a vital link to the rest of province’s medical system.
There is no dedicated medevac helicopter in northern interior B.C. (the nearest are in Prince Rupert and Kamloops). There will not be to be any helicopter showing up to transport you from the Burns Lake hospital, you will be traveling by ground.
Be very mindful before shooting this down the repaving of a community airport as an unnecessary service.
This shouldn’t even be a debate about whether or not the airport is an important service, because it unequivocally is. It should be a question about how it was allowed to get to this state.
Why wasn’t it budgeted for years ago? Who was responsible for this poor management? And why are they allowed to continue in that position? This situation doesn’t affect me directly, but it will definitely affect my friends and family if they were to get sick or injured.
Everyone in this community deserves the same access to medical services as the rest of the province.
Let’s stick together as a community, repave the airport, and put solutions in place to ensure that something like this does not happen on the backs of taxpayers again.
Burns Lake, BC