Out of a dispatch centre located in Sahali, call takers for BC Emergency Health Services provide help to people in communities across the province who have called 911 for an ambulance.
Paul Alberts, interim manager for BC EHS Kamloops Dispatch Operations, said emergency medical call takers are “saving lives at the end of the phone.”
“It's a job that’s like no other — you actually get to you experience that, and be that for people and that's every single day that you're answering these calls from every corner of the province,” Alberts said.
“You’re helping elderly people that have fallen down, they're living at home and they need help up or they need to go to the hospital. You're there — you’re that caring person.”
BC EHS is looking to hire more call takers for its Kamloops dispatch centre. Alberts said they are looking for 12 candidates to start training in January.
He said they are looking to hire people who can type 30 words per minute, and who have standard first aid training — but they are also looking for people with caring personalities who are resilient, and able to handle stressful situations.
“Really, who excels is people that care about people — caring about humanity, caring about best outcomes for people and being able to do that repetitively throughout the day,” Alberts said.
“It's being able to have that resiliency to work through each call and have that same level of care, of compassion when you start the day, [at] the end of the day.”
Call takers work 12 hour shifts for two days and two nights, and then have six days off. The starting wage is $31.65 per hour, and staff have the option to grow their skills and become an emergency medical dispatcher.
Alberts said after a successful application process, which includes some aptitude testing, new hires go through a four-week paid training period and then are paired with someone for a time who will help coach them through calls.
A special software system helps guide call takers through each 911 call to help them obtain critical medical information and assess patients.
Alberts said it’s the perfect opportunity for someone looking for a new, challenging career.
“You know that you've made an impact somewhere in the province,” he said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the role can find more information at joinus.bcehs.ca.