VIDEO: B.C. has Canada’s only mobile medical unit

The unit can be mobilized in as quickly as eight hours after receiving a request

B.C.’s mobile medical unit is the only one of its kind in the country.

Originally created for the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, the unit was on display in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday ahead of the BC Quality Health Forum this week.

The province purchased it after Vancouver Games to support emergency situations, with funding from the Ministry of Health shared among all health authorities.

The unit and its team of doctors, nurses and paramedics has been to more than 60 sites across the province, as far north as Terrace, as far east as Golden, and all over Vancouver Island.

READ MORE: Roughly one person died every two days from drug overdoses in Surrey

The team can prepare and mobilize the unit in as quickly as eight hours after receiving a request, and provides treatment during emergencies, public health outreach and renovation support.

Two years ago, it was deployed to the Downtown Eastside to assist with the opioid crisis. The unit was set up on Hastings Street for seven months.

Peter Hennecki, clinical operations director, said the unit was the difference between life and death for patients that required immediate care.

“Not having this kind of unit there as an initial response, when things were at their worst – it did save lives,” said Hennecki.

The unit weighs about 80,000 lbs. and comes with a supply trailer. Together, they have a footprint of 125 feet by 60 feet. When fully setup, it has nearly 1,100 square feet of clinical space and the capacity to hold up to eight stretchers. When not in use, they are stored in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Delta.

The unit’s next planned deployment is to Richmond General Hospital, where the team is running a disaster medical course.

“If we got the call right now to go somewhere, we would pack up and go to the emergency,” Hennecki said.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The mobile medical unit weighs about 80,000 lbs. and comes with a supply trailer. (Joti Grewal)

Just Posted

Parksville man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near city mall

Oceanside RCMP report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

‘100 Oceanside Men Who Give a Damn’ donates $9,500 to hospice society

OHS provides services free of charge to palliative clients and their families

Parksville runner ready to raise funds for charity

Watson to run half-marathon with daughter Lauren

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read