Provincial Health Services Authority clinical operations director Peter Hennecke and Fraser Canyon Hospital director Catherine Wiebe were happy to see th B.C. Mobile Medical Unit support the Fraser Canyon Hospital for six weeks last fall during a renovation. BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO

Mobile emergency unit has made its way to Nanaimo

The B.C. Mobile Medical Unit is in Nanaimo and will be open for tours Monday, June 11

A mobile emergency department with a mission to help when disaster strikes will give public tours during its stop in Nanaimo this week.

The B.C. Mobile Medical Unit is coming to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to test out infrastructure and scope out a site to set up in the event it’s ever called upon in an emergency. The unit’s team will also do disaster education with NRGH clinicians and hold an open house for the public Monday, June 11.

It’s a state-of-the-art facility, according to the unit website.

It can expand into a 1,000 square-foot space with six to eight patient treatment bays and has the ability to provide services from primary health care to emergency surgical care.

It can also be deployed anywhere in the province during a disaster response or when more capacity is needed to cope with emergencies or large-scale public events, a press release says.

Landon James, manager of clinical operations for the medical unit, said it’s only been used once for an emergency at Surrey Memorial Hospital where it became a temporary resuscitation area for paramedics transporting patients. The emergency department was forced to close in 2012 as a result of a flood from a ruptured water main.

The mobile unit has also been used to support hospital renovations in places like Kitimat and Hope.

He said the unit is a legacy from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games, where it was a emergency department and surgical facility in Whistler’s athlete’s village. It was eventually acquired by the Provincial Health Services Authority.

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The general public, based on feedback in the past, “like to see there are resources available in the province and what it looks like,” said James of the public tours.

The unit will be set up for emergency deployment with all of its emergency equipment there. Five or six physicians and nurses will be on hand to give tours between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 11 at NRGH.

B.C. Transplant will also be on site to raise awareness and register organ donation decisions.

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-with files from Surrey Now-Leader

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