Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 25, 2013

Long-awaited pilot paramedic program underway

Seven Yukoners looking to become primary care paramedics are now able to do so without going Outside.

By Stephanie Waddell on January 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm


Photo by Vince Fedoroff

HANDS-ON LEARNING – Richard Bradford (centre), the primary care paramedic course instructor, shows proper tube insertion to students Gail Anderson (right) and Scott Cole on Wednesday morning at Yukon College. The Justice Institute of British Columbia has partnered with the college to offer the seven-month course.

Seven Yukoners looking to become primary care paramedics are now able to do so without going Outside.

Yukon College began offering its first primary care paramedic course earlier this month to seven students.

The seven-month program is being done in partnership with the Justice Institute of British Columbia, which provided training and mentorship to faculty and students during the pilot project.

Richard Bradford-Andrew, a local paramedic for more than a decade, is leading the course as its co-ordinator and instructor.

“It’s a very intense program,” he said in an interview Thursday.

For the students, it began with having to meet the minimum requirements to be in the course.

Those include being at least 17 years old, having completed Grade 12, having three written reference letters, a criminal records check, passing a physical fitness assessment, having up-to-date immunizations, a current CPR certification and a current Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification.

The EMR certification, Bradford-Andrew explained, shows a basic understanding of the equipment and tools in an ambulance.

While some students already had their EMR certificate from work they’ve done elsewhere, others earned theirs specifically so they could take part in the program.

After meeting the requirements and putting in their applications, prospective students had to meet with a selection panel made up of representatives from the Justice Institute of B.C.

They also had to write an exam before being accepted into the pilot program.

Bradford-Andrew said he’s pleased with the interest students are showing.

Some, he noted, are looking for something new and completely changing their careers.

At least one has told him they wouldn’t be able to pursue a career as a paramedic had the program not been offered locally because it would have meant leaving family members for a number of months.

Bradford-Andrew also noted that having a local program means they will get to experience local situations – doing work in the frigid winter air on dark days.

Down south, he noted, they would be working in almost ideal situations with more daylight and warmer weather.

The first couple of weeks of the program saw the students focus on textbook work about anatomy and physiology.

Students were required to pass an exam on that before they could move on to the section they’re on now.

While one student opted to leave the program for other reasons, all other students passed the exam and have moved on.

That’s something Bradford-Andrew was pleased to see, noting he’s learned from other programs it’s not uncommon to have a 25-per-cent failure rate on that test.

The class will now get into more simulation work with the approximately $75,000 worth of equipment purchased for the program.

On Wednesday, Bradford-Andrew was showing students the proper way to do a tube insertion using the airway equipment that recently arrived for the course.

Also purchased for the course was a life support baby, cardiac monitor, an ambulance to be stationed at the college for the course and stretchers, among a number of others.

The course will also feature more practical components as the students move along, beginning in mid-February, when they each take a shift with a nurse at Whitehorse General Hospital.

That will see them mainly shadowing the nurse with some small tasks over the course of the shift.

Toward the end of the course, there will be further practical experience both in the ambulance and operating room that will involve working with patients under the supervision of medical and paramedic staff.

Those who successfully complete the program will be certified as primary care paramedics.

Currently there are between 30 and 40 such positions in the territory, with another 20 or so advanced care paramedics.

Becoming an advanced care paramedic takes another two years of school.

Bradford-Andrew hopes the course will continue should this pilot be successful.

Ideally, he said, the next one would start in mid-September. That would see students graduate in the spring of 2014, which is typically the time of year that sees more paramedics hired.

The pilot project cost $349,316.

As college spokesman Michael Vernon explained, a large part of that was for the partnership with the Justice Institute of B.C. for training that will allow the college to offer the program in the future without the cost of bringing in Outside instructors from the B.C. school.

The territorial Community Development Fund put in $276,000 for the program.

As well, the training committee of the Volunteer Ambulance Society provided $40,000, which guaranteed two seats in the program for volunteers.

Another $10,000 came from in-kind contributions by the college.

Tuitions were set at $11,500, which includes uniforms and textbooks for the students.

CommentsAdd a comment

Maria Kontogonis

Jan 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm

It’s refreshing to see a program like this offered in the Yukon. I recently finished my Paramedics in Calgary,AB and it was tough being away from friends and family for so long and being placed in a huge city not knowing anyone. I wish these guys the best of luck!


Jan 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Good progress! I’m pleased to see this program finally off the ground. Now all we need is an Ambulance Act to define and provide guidelines for Yukon EMS

How about it Yukon Party Gov? any progress there????

Thanks but no thanks

Jan 30, 2013 at 4:59 am

Immunizations you say? Thanks but no thanks.

In a recent publicity stunt gone terribly but humorously wrong, Piers Morgan, the infamous CNN personality and British journalist whose unconstitutional views on gun control have sparked petitions for his deportation, agreed to take his first ever flu shot during a live taping of The Dr. Oz Show that aired on January 11, 2013. But just 10 days later, Morgan, who promised to “go after” Oz if he developed the flu following the shot, ironically came down with flu-like symptoms that all but debilitated him from hosting his own Piers Morgan Tonight show
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038866_Piers_Morgan_flu_vaccines_sickness.html#ixzz2JSX86x61

Warning: Many childhood vaccines contain aborted human fetal protein, DNA

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a non-profit vaccine safety group, recently conducted an independent review of the contents of childhood vaccines and found that many of them are tainted with ingredients that would shock most parents. According to the manufacturer-produced package inserts included with each vaccine batch, many vaccines are made with disturbing ingredients like aborted human fetal proteins, altered DNA material, and even genetically-modified (GM) human albumin.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038873_childhood_vaccines_aborted_babies_DNA.html#ixzz2JSXMTOEt

Why do you force people to get these shots who work at a hospital? They don’t protect no one, and harm a lot of people.

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