An Advanced Care Paramedic at the Oil Patch

British Columbia Advanced Care Paramedic

I’ve worked for Iridia Medical for seven years, primarily travelling in and out of the Dilly Creek area for each rotation. In that time I’ve earned the title of “veteran,” giving me some advantages over the paramedics coming into these remote sites for the first time.

My years working in the north have taught me to pack as light as possible, the lighter the better with the airlines. You quickly learn what you can live without for 3 weeks and what absolute necessities are. Travel from the Okanagan where I live is always a new adventure. On those cloudless days I get a panoramic view of this province that only a few get to see on such a regular basis. En route I meet up with the other medics coming into the project at the various airports along the way. Arrival to camp is a two stage journey with air travel being the first and a 3+ hour drive to follow. During the drive, I am always watching for that close up view of the wildlife going about their business along the sides of the road. My favorite to date was seeing the cow moose with the triplets grazing alongside her – a rare sight at any time of the year.

Camp life is really quite nice. The camp staff know how difficult it is to be away from home working in these remote areas so many go the extra mile to have good food and a comfortable bed ready when you arrive. It’s always good to see those familiar faces when I arrive and get back into the groove of work life again. After touching base with the outgoing medic, the day ends with a quick meal and a well-deserved sleep.

The Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) at the Dilly Creek is the central point of contact for our client’s safety department for all of their North East BC operations. Mornings start with that first coffee (got to lubricate and fuel those neurons!), compiling the previous day’s patient counts and mileage reports for submission. My day is usually filled with treating patients, gathering information about current and upcoming projects, ensuring the medic team has everything they need and working with operations to keep things running as smooth as possible. Some days are busier than others but all in all the time passes fairly quickly.

Advanced Care Paramedic at the Oil Patch

Being a clinic based service in a central location affords a few luxuries that many on the medic team don’t often receive. My clinic is modestly small but well equipped and comfortable. I have excellent internet and cell service along with satellite TV. Cushy by northern standards and I count myself fortunate.

The ACP at Dilly Creek has the freedom to move around the entire lease – their scope of coverage is not limited to one site. It is a nice break to get out of the office and visit the medic team, share a coffee and see how the various projects are getting along. Our client’s medical needs and responses are diverse so the team has to be adaptable to whatever is required. From simple cuts and bruises to critical evacuation by air I am proud to say our team has done it all up here and done it very well.

Home is 21 days away and there isn’t anyone one who doesn’t look forward to that last drive out. Our treat after a successful rotation is lunch and a cold beverage at the Boston Pizza in Fort Nelson. We chew over the events of the past 3 weeks, talk about our plans for the coming time off and get that relaxed feeling you experience knowing you are going home. 

Travis Cleave
Advanced Care Paramedic with Iridia