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

VALLEY SENIORS: A second chance comes with enough memories for two

The Dietrich family makes its mark on Abbeyfield House in Port Alberni

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

Port Alberni’s Joe Hill celebrates 90th birthday with waves through a window

Retired accountant receives best wishes via Zoom, meets newborn great-grandchild

Alberni Golf Club reopens with new COVID-19 rules

J and L Mixed Scramble kicks off 2020 season

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read