At a time when gaps in the medical system are frequently in the news, Creston’s mayor says one service is working extremely well and deserves more recognition.
“When a medevac comes in and spends 20 minutes transferring a patient from the ground ambulance to their plane and 45 minutes later they’re in Kelowna at the airport,” Ron Toyota says.
Toyota was speaking specifically of a King Air turboprop that landed Sunday just before noon at the Creston airport and left the tarmac for Kelowna 17 minutes later. But he says it’s just one of close to 80 such flights this year.
“It’s unfortunate we have these situations, but the fact that with shortages at different hospitals, these people are in critical care,” he says.
“They need emergency services, and they’re being transferred to the best hospital we have in the interior, in Kelowna.
“We get a lot of medevacs out of Creston to Kelowna, Vancouver, or Calgary and these patients are getting great care, very quickly.”
Toyota says physicians, dispatchers, pilots, and the BC Ambulance Service are all working together to make local medevac flights highly efficient.
“The system is running well. I’m sure there are glitches, but to me a 20-minute turnaround is pretty amazing.”