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Hudson's Hope woman dies waiting for ambulance

The Mayor of Hudson's Hope is calling for changes from the provincial government after a woman died waiting for an ambulance last week. Last Friday, the only ambulance and first responder in the small community were sent to Tumbler Ridge, when later that afternoon a woman suffered from a cardiac arrest.

As the ambulance was out of the city, it took approximately an hour and a half to get to the woman's home just outside the District – too late to save her life. Although RCMP and the Fire Department answered the 9-1-1 call and performed CPR, their abilities and equipment are limited. In what Mayor Karen Anderson calls a "double whammy", the ambulance would have still had to transport the woman to Fort St. John, as there was no doctor in Hudson's Hope.

"That's just not an acceptable practice or a situation, and it's not just Hudson's Hope; it's any small community," she says. "I just think that it's time that this provincial government stood up and looked at our health care a little bit closer."

It's unknown how severe this medical incident was, and Anderson admits that it's possible having an ambulance in town may not have saved this life. However, she maintains changes need to be made to help all small communities in the future.

"That could have been an accident, that could have been a young child that was hurt or sick," she argues. "It's just not fair to people who choose to live in these rural, remote communities."

The community will again be in a situation of risk when its only ambulance is getting serviced for 12 hours tomorrow. Of the two first responders in the community, one is on call 24/7 and the other can only respond to 9-1-1 calls when her husband is in town to take care of her children. Anderson says she spoke to B.C. Ambulance yesterday, but was told that the decision had to be made.

"I'm just not getting a satisfactory answer from B.C. Ambulance. To take our only responder and our ambulance when we don't even have a doctor, it just doesn't make sense."