Ontario to BC (PCP)

volcano99
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Ontario to BC (PCP)

Postby volcano99 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:51 am

Hi, I'm a new PCP in Ontario with <1 year exp. Although I was planning on settling in for the long-haul here, some family stuff has come up, and I am considering moving to BC to be closer to my parents.

Any medics know what it's like moving from Ontario to BC? Not just the equivalency process, but also on whether there is decent availability for positions? I'm mainly interested in BCAS where I can work 911 (although I am not very well informed on the private sector)

I'm wondering if waiting lists for non-pager positions with BCAS are still 5+ years? Basically, I've heard horror stories about being on pager shifts and having to commute 5-6 hours to remote stations for 5+ years, although these were from medics who haven't worked in BC in a few years.

Basically, what I want to know is, if I move move to BC as a PCP without very much road-experience, is it reasonable to hope for a living wage as a medic? Or a station with medium-to-high call volume? And have conditions improved at all in recent years for new medics?

Thanks in advance.

cprted
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby cprted » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:52 pm

If you're already licensed in Ontario, getting a BC license will be a piece of cake. What you will want to ensure is that you get an IV endorsement on your BC PCP license. If you're not currently IV trained, there are stand alone courses you can take here to gain IV on your license. It affects pay and work availability in BCAS.

Ahh, jobs in BC Ambulance ... that's a tricky one to answer. Short version, yes, BCAS will hire you. Getting hired won't actually be a problem. Where you get hired will determine earning potential.

Everyone who gets hired, starts as casual, we call it "part-time" but make no mistake, it is a casual position. No guaranteed hours, no benefits. That being said, it is possible to make a decent income as a PTer in BCAS. If you want to give us an idea what area you think you'd be looking to live in, I can give you a clearer idea of what PT life is like. It does vary quite a bit.

In very broad brush strokes, you'll start out in a rural station that will have some combination call-out (pagers), stand-by, and fulltime cars. As PT, you submit the shifts you're available for and are scheduled into these various shift patterns. Call-out (Kilo) cars carry a pager for the infamous $2/hr, Stand-by (Fox) cars get paid a stipend to be at the station. When you get called, you get your full rate of pay for 3-4 hours depending on the shift. If you're scheduled onto a fulltime car, you get paid your full rate for the duration of the shift and are paid OT if you work late ... almost like a real job lol. The more availability you submit, the more shifts you're entitled to.

In a quiet station, you're not going to make very much money. However there are some busier spots out there where you can get buy on Kilo and Fox pay. I like said, if you're willing to say what part of the province you're looking at, I should be able to give you an idea what the work is like, what kind of seniority it takes to get into the urban areas, etc. I was in the interior for a number of years and I could make 50-60k as a part-timer. I know part-timers who make close to 90k ... they have no life and almost work every day, but it is possible.

The PTers that I see that tend to be the happiest are the one that have a job they work on the side. If you have a second job that you enjoy and do that 2-3 days a week and then work 2-3 ambulance shifts per week, you can do ok as well.

Jumping to FT is pretty stagnant right now. There hasn't been a large hire of new FTers in several years so the seniority required to get an FT spot has been creeping up. Right now, it takes 7.5-8 years to land a FT spot. That being said, it could all change in a flash. If Tuesday morning BCAS announced they are hiring 40-50 new FT instead of the 10-12 at a time they have been, the seniority drops back to 4-5 years where it has historically been for the past decade.

volcano99
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby volcano99 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:56 pm

Thanks for the info. Ideally, I would like to be close to Surrey, but I am definitely willing to be flexible depending on things like shift availability and call volume, as long as I am within a ~3-hour drive of Surrey.

cprted
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby cprted » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:34 pm

Initially as a hiring station, I'd be looking into Merritt, Princeton, Ashcroft, Pemberton, Gibsons. There is a decent enough call volume in those places that while you won't usually be "busy," there is enough work that you'll actually get a paycheque. In those stations, the Chiefs are pretty good about scheduling you in blocks. You'll go up for 3-5 days at a time, work a bunch of back to backs, and then go home for a few days. The stations have sleeping quarters and small kitchens.

As you work through the probation process and get signed off at the various stages, you can start working as a "secondary." Meaning, at a station other than your home station (primary). A lot of part-timers from the peripheral stations are able to pickup extra shifts in the Vancouver Post or other stations in the area (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, etc). These days, the Metro/Urban posts have been consistently short-staffed so there has been no shortage of opportunities for Part-Time-Out-of-Post staff to pick up extra work in the city.
Last edited by cprted on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

volcano99
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby volcano99 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:19 pm

Much appreciate the info, it's a big help!

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:55 pm

CPRted posted some great info, he pretty much covered everything.

He is unfortunately correct on the 7.5 to 8 years waiting time, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Why? Because BCAS has changed the way it hires. It used to hire sometimes only every year, which is why you'd see the huge 50+ people hires. Now, BCAS commits to posting a new F/T PCP Irreg posting 3 times per year at the exact same time. I believe this is September 1, January 1, and May 1. Because of this, they only typically hire 10-15 per hire and it seems like this has caused a much longer wait. In other words, as a PCP, it is impossible to get a full-time permanent spot with BCAS in less than 7-8 years as of right now, which is a huge bummer if you are out of province.

As for Surrey... well... there's no casual jobs anywhere from West Vancouver to Abbotsford. The closest part-time stations near Surrey would be: Squamish (to the west) and Chilliwack (to the east). But those are difficult stations to get into and take years. The closest stations that many people get hired in (which will almost definitely hire you) would be Boston Bar (to the east) and Bowen Island (to the west) but those stations are KILO only (pager). Typically, what people would do is get a job at Boston Bar and put in full availability. The unit chiefs have a deal where they will give you a block of pager shifts all at once. So let's say you get 16 shifts, you'll get them all 8 days in a row (day/night). Then, you are free to submit the other 22 days to external operators like Vancouver. At least this is how I remember it, but I may be wrong. So basically, if you want to work in Surrey, in actual Surrey, then the best way to do that would probably be to work at Boston Bar, work your few shifts there, then submit excess availability to the metro post.

If you want one station for just a career where you can make a living, then I agree with CPRted, I'd look at Merritt, Princeton, Ashcroft, Pemberton, Gibsons, and then eventually try and get to Agassiz, Squamish, Whistler, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, etc.

In case you haven't seen it, here's a really good site. This site lists all the stations in BC and it lists what car each station has. K = Kilo and F = Fox. So if you have time, you can create a map using Google Maps of he closest stations to where you want to live. The Kilo only stations will almost certainly hire you immediately off the street, while the Fox stations will depend on where they are:

http://www.scanbc.com/wiki/index.php?ti ... ce_Service

medic333
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Working other stations

Postby medic333 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:33 pm

When you get hired into a station with BC Ambulance, you will have to complete a 6 month probation period which limits you into your hiring station and cannot transfer out until your 6 months are complete and have accrued enough seniority to make that transfer (depending on where you want to go)

There is a "loophole" in which you can work in other stations WHILE you are on your 6-month probation and can use your excess availability to work in busier/full-time cars until you can transfer into a busier station and make extra money. Most Unit Chiefs will deny this or have zero idea on what the Work Allocation Guide actually states. (This is a document on how Chief's schedule paramedics based on formulas)

As long as you have completed ALL of your core and online probation training, and your code-3 driving practicum. You are good to go!

The WAG states: "Probationary employees are restricted to their original hire post for the
length of the probationary period and are unable to exercise their “lateral transfer” rights as described in Article F4.02. When a new employee has completed the “Code 3” driving course and signed off by a driving preceptor, at that time they are able to work out of post.
They must have made their availability commitment to their primary operator first, and have any “unused” availability signed off by their primary operator Front Line Supervisor. To ensure no operational considerations are missed, it is advisable to check with your Regional Superintendent prior to work at another post."

FirePCP54
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby FirePCP54 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:53 pm

I know this is an older thread, but there's some great info on here. Still kind of confused by the process though.

I'm planning on moving to Nanaimo BC in September and have my BC PCP License. I've got a couple questions:

How difficult would it be to get stationed in the Comox, Central Island, or Cowichan regions? (Preferably Central Island) And what are the stations like there?
Do I have to wait till those regions specifically post a job listing and apply to that region? Or do you apply to BC ambulance as a whole?

Any info about the Nanaimo area/ BC ambulance/ or the hiring process/Job itself would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

firemedic379
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Move to BC

Postby firemedic379 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:25 am

Hey buddy

Send me an email [email protected], I can definitely help.

Adam82
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Adam82 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:03 pm

[quote=""FirePCP54""]I know this is an older thread, but there's some great info on here. Still kind of confused by the process though.

I'm planning on moving to Nanaimo BC in September and have my BC PCP License. I've got a couple questions:

How difficult would it be to get stationed in the Comox, Central Island, or Cowichan regions? (Preferably Central Island) And what are the stations like there?
Do I have to wait till those regions specifically post a job listing and apply to that region? Or do you apply to BC ambulance as a whole?

Any info about the Nanaimo area/ BC ambulance/ or the hiring process/Job itself would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks![/quote]

You won't get hired into any central island station right off the bat as a fresh hire. But don't fret. What most people do is they get hired at one of the island stations. Denman Island is a popular newbie station and probably your best bet. Then, you put in full availability at that station and any shifts you don't get booked for you can put in for work at the other stations (Nanaimo Parksville etc).


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