FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John resident is thanking the quick actions of a random good samaritan for responding to a motor vehicle incident on Sunday.

Jim Harris posted on a local Facebook group about a motor vehicle incident involving his wife on Monday, and while he’s calling for better supports for ambulance services in the area, he says he can’t thank the man enough for keeping his wife calm and stable.

“I don’t know if he was there when [the collision] happened, but he immediately ran over to my wife and asked if she was ok,” recalled Harris. “He got somebody to call 9-1-1 and then he crawled through the passenger side, into the back seat and stabilized her neck until the fire department arrived.”

Harris says he thinks the anonymous good samaritan had emergency training because the next action prevented possible further injury.

“He instructed whoever else was at the scene to open the hood and pull the battery cable so that the steering wheel airbag wouldn’t go off. Because it was a side impact, the steering wheel airbag hadn’t gone off, and he didn’t want that to go off.”

Once the responding firefighters opened the driver side to extract the passenger, the good samaritan was relieved of maintaining the passenger’s spine position.

“After they got the door open and put on the neck collar, I saw him walk back to the ditch, jump in his truck and leave. The firefighters asked, where’d he go? We wanted to thank him, and I wanted to thank him, but he just left. He just showed up, did what he had to do, and then went on with his Sunday.”

Harris was thankful for the compassion and care from everyone who responded, including the firefighters who kept his wife smiling and calm.

“The fire department guys hung out with my wife, kept her happy and jovial throughout the whole thing. Absolutely stellar guys. It wasn’t until the ambulance showed up that she actually started getting emotional. And the paramedics were phenomenal, they were so caring and attentive, it was great.”

What Harris says is concerning is the long wait time for an ambulance to respond.

“It’s not just Fort St. John, it’s Dawson Creek, it’s Chetwynd, it’s Hudson’s Hope, Prince George, right down to Vancouver. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed locally, provincially, and possibly federally.”

The topic of ambulance staffing is not new to the region, as issues with recruiting and wages are making it hard to have adequate resources, especially in the north.

“What can we and Fort St. John do to help those paramedics, those firefighters, those police services? Maybe we start out there, and other communities will adopt it?”

Harris says he has gotten the attention of Fort St. John City Council, and the topic was brought up at Monday’s Regular Meeting of Council. Council decided to write the health minister and BC Ambulance a letter addressing service levels in the region.

One thing Harris is sure of, it’s a good thing that an anonymous guardian angel was there.

“That guy was an absolute angel, guardian, whatever you want to call him. He kept my wife calm and stable until the Fire Department showed up and I can’t thank him enough, because it was a pretty traumatic day for [my wife].”