Changes to ambulance design called after B.C. man falls out of vehicle and dies.

Published on : November 18, 2017 2:49

A coroner’s jury has called for changes to the design of B.C. ambulances following the death of man who fell out of an emergency vehicle and died in Quesnel in 2016.

Ebony Aaron Wood, 36, was being transported to hospital in Quesnel after a motor vehicle accident when he fell out of the ambulance, suffering blunt force trauma. Two days later, he died.

The death was ruled accidental.

Regional coroner Donita Kuzma presided over the inquest and is expected to prepare a final report providing more details on Wood’s death.

Following a three-day coroner’s inquest this week, a jury made six recommendations to BC Ambulance Services and two to RCMP on how to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Recommendations to the BC Ambulance Service include:

  • Implement changes to ambulance design that allow for two-way communication between paramedics.
  • Routine check and inspection of ambulances should include the features of the vehicle that are operational while the vehicle is in motion; this would require completing checks while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Add visual indicators to the ambulance that inform both the driver and the attending paramedic that all vehicle doors are closed and locked.
  • Upgrade the GPS technology available to ambulance drivers to allow for different directional orientation of the mapping information.
  • Implement changes to rear door lock location, so as to limit patient’s access to the locking door mechanism.

One recommendation is for both the RCMP and the BC Ambulance Service:

  • Enhance mental health and substance use training provided to first responders that improves their ability to assess behavioural indicators of risk.

A final recommendation was given to the RCMP:

  • Ensure any behavioural issues that could endanger the patient or others are communication to the BCAS when care is transferred.