Letter: Ambulance/911 failed us

A Langley resident writes about experiences waiting for ambulances.

I used to think that once you needed help in an accident or an emergency case all you had to do was call for an ambulance, and they would get to you as soon as possible. Now I would like to ask you this:

Should you be honest when you are calling for an ambulance, or should you make it sound like the person who you are calling for is on their way out ?

How come this service has gotten so slow?

The reason that I am so concerned is that on July 28, 2014, my wife suffered a stroke at 11 in the morning so I called 911 immediately only to be transferred to ambulance calls. This phone rang a good number of times before it was answered.

The time was now 11:10. The ambulance rolled into our front yard at 11:40. And they were not in any hurry at that time. The ambulance people told us they got the call and that it was not life threatening. So what is a stroke and isn’t time a factor?

Now to top this off on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, my wife, Gerry, was in residence at the Langley Lodge and she had a fall. She cut her head open and was bleeding very profusely, and she also had broken her left hip and was in a great deal of pain.

The nurse at Langley Lodge called for an ambulance at 11:15 a.m. to take Gerry to the Langley Memorial Hospital which is just under five kilometres away. After waiting for 30 minutes, she phoned 911 once again and was put on hold. Now could you imagine yourself laying injured on the floor and finally getting to phone 911 and then being put on hold? Great service.

The ambulance finally arrived at 12:10, that is just 55 minutes. When I asked why it would take so long, the ambulance driver told me they had come from Surrey and that the call said this was not life threatening.

This was a call for a 76-year old person who is living in a full care facility. Who made the call that this was not a life and death situation?

Is this another case of things going out of control because of our Liberal government cutbacks?

Jim Glavin, Langley



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