The service technicians at Parksville’s Harris Oceanside Chevrolet Buick GMC are helping keep first responders on the road.

Driving home essential services for local workers

Did you know that an ambulance will travel approximately 2,000 kilometres in a week? Or that it must be re-certified for safety every 6,000 km?

That’s just one reason the service bays at Parksville’s Harris Oceanside Chevrolet Buick GMC have been deemed essential.

In addition to ambulances, RCMP vehicles and those of frontline workers are also among those driving through the service bays. And for those in need of a new vehicle to make their way to work, the sales side of the dealership is also open, with reduced hours and staffing.

“For those who have asked, there’s a reason why we’re open,” says managing partner Andy Lankester, crediting the unsung heroes working to ensure these vital safety and transportation vehicles continue operating safely and reliably.

From the usual staff of 42, essential staffing levels are currently at 17, including those technicians keeping the first responders on the road where they’re needed.

“Our team is really proud of the work they’re doing. They’re coming to work every day focused on the job at hand and their role in keeping the community safe,” Lankester says.

Second homes on wheels

With some frontline workers needing to self-isolate from vulnerable family members, Oceanside’s RVs have also proven a valuable resource for those needing a “second home” to rest between shifts, Lankester says, noting bonafide first responders or frontline workers will receive a $500 voucher toward their purchase.

And recognizing the challenging times many customers find themselves in with the current economic climate, the dealership has rolled back the pricing on synthetic oil changes to just $39.95, doing what they can to help people get where they need to be.

Safety first

Like other businesses deemed essential, both the sales and service sides of the dealership have taken steps in line with the provincial health guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and customers.

In addition to safe social distancing protocols, vehicles in for servicing are disinfected before the mechanic begins work, then again before the vehicle is returned to the owner. Keys are treated with similar precautions, as are vehicles taken for test drives, and hard surfaces within the dealership, Lankester notes.

Learn more online at For service queries, contact 888-671-4293; for sales questions, call 888-631-4002.


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