Sun Peaks fire department chosen for EMR pilot project in B.C.

Sun Peaks Fire Rescue is one of two B.C. fire departments chosen for a pilot project allowing firefighters to use the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) protocol to attend to emergency calls.

“This is exciting,” said fire chief Bill Stoner. “The EMR protocol will be similar to what an ambulance attendant in a rural community might have for skills.”

Using the EMR protocol gives firefighters better tools in attending to heart attack patients. It also allows them to use additional pain relief as well as immobilization tools in responding to emergency situations.

Stoner said this is great for the community as it can take at least 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on-scene in Sun Peaks.

Prince George is the other participant in the Emergency Health Services Commission pilot project. Prince George will act as an urban representative while Sun Peaks is the rural counterpart in the experiment.

“Presumably, if this works in Sun Peaks, they’ll allow the fire departments throughout the province to use EMR in their fire departments,” said Stoner.

Other developments with the local fire department include assisting with the municipal emergency plan, preparing for the Work Experience Program in the summer and expanding its in-house course offerings.

Volunteers are being sought for the Emergency Operations Centre to be established in Sun Peaks. Under the municipal emergency plan, this group will be trained to support emergency responders during extensive operations in the community. Deadline for application is April 30. E-mail Bill Stoner to apply at

Also, three additional courses from the Justice Institute of British Columbia may soon be added to the in-house courses offered: a hands-on firefighting course, emergency vehicle operating course and fire service instructor course.

“It allows us to do more training with the same amount of money.”
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