BC Emergency Health Services paramedic Jerome Lake is Dawson Creek’s community paramedic. The specialized role brings residents health care support in disease prevention and services to older adults who may be living with chronic conditions such as heart failure or diabetes. As part of his work Lake visits patients, referred by a doctor or nurse, in their homes.
“One of the main goals is to help keep our seniors living longer in their homes; we bring the help to the people at home,” says Lake.
As a community paramedic the focus is largely on supporting older adults, but community paramedics also offer health education to the whole community, including training in CPR, use of an AED and Narcan.
The province-wide community paramedic program began about four years ago and came to Dawson Creek in 2018. There are currently more than 100 community paramedics working in rural and remote communities around the province.
The community-based initiative is reducing trips to the emergency room and the strain on hospital emergency care.
Within the Northern Health Authority, there are currently 26 communities with community paramedics.
For more information on the Community Paramedic Program: http://www.bcehs.ca/our-services/programs-services/community-paramedicine. 250-219-1321