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October 28, 2017 5:28 am

Arrival of Ambulances to Lakeland Fire Scene – Felt Like an Eternity- Says Witness

Thursday, March 5, 2015 @ 11:53 AM

Prince George , B.C.- Prince George Fire Rescue member Peter Brbot, has testified at the inquest into the deaths of Alan Little and  Glenn Roche that “It felt like an eternity” before ambulances showed up at the scene of the mill explosion on April 23rd, 2012.Brbot says when his team from Hall #3 arrived, he was advised there was an injured man, exposed, lying in the mud who needed immediate attention.  That man was Alan Little.

Brbot testified  Little was naked, except for one sock,   was placed  on a stretcher, covered with a blanket and taken to a triage area near  a fire truck. “We waited, and we waited, and we waited, but there were no ambulances at the scene.”   He says Fire Rescue doesn’t  transport  victims to hospital, but  that   they pleaded to get   an ambulance on scene in order to attend to the severely burned Little.

Finally,  not willing to wait any longer, they loaded the stretcher into the back of  a pick up truck,  Fire Chief John Lane got behind the wheel, and Brbot stayed in the box with Little.

Brbot told the inquest  they drove to  River Road,  where they waited for an ambulance to appear “It felt like an eternity” said Brbot, but  that it was likely 7 to 9 minutes before  an ambulance was on scene “You know, usually,  we turn around and they are right there to assist us, this time, there was nobody there.”

Testimony yesterday  detailed how  protocol prevents BC Ambulance Service from  accessing a scene  until  they have been given  word from the proper authorities that it is safe to do so.  That  message is delivered through dispatch,  the efficiency of that  communication chain has already been questioned by one of the jurors.


The Prince George Fire Department is not equipped to transport people. It’s a very helpless feeling when you are waiting for the Ambulance to arrive. They are our only means to get patients to the hospital.

I watched from the Nechako Cutbanks as it appeared to me that the Ambulances were racing up and down 1st Avenue. I thought that there must have been many injured.

My son filmed the scenario from high above the city where we could see the whole picture. It’s a tragic event that we all should learn from.

I recall back in the early 70’s when I used to load box cars with lumber. We were told to let the dust settle in the car before we ever considered lighting a match or a cigarette. It was a very dangerous and potentially volatile environment. This is not new news.

Paramedics are not rescue personnel. They need to wait for the all clear before they are able to enter highly volatile scenes…..which this incident definitely was.

Fire departments are rescue trained so it makes sense that they were first on scene

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