May 21, 2014 5:07 pm

Coroner’s report cites fatigue as factor in 2010 deaths of two paramedics

A coroner’s report cites fatigue as a “contributing factor” in the deaths of two paramedics whose ambulance drove off a cliff near Tofino in 2010.

Fifty nine-year-old Jo-Ann Fuller and 65-year-old Ivan Polivka died four years ago when their ambulance plunged into Kennedy Lake.

Cornorer Lyn Blenkinsop concluded that Fuller, who was driving at the time, was likely asleep at the wheel, while Polivka was likely sleeping on the gurney.

They were returning to Tofino after transferring a sedated psychiatric patient from Tofino General Hospital to West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni.

The trip was an unscheduled shift in the middle of the night, and began five hours after they had finished a 8.5 hour-long shift.

Since the incident, the BC Ambulance Service has committed to review scheduling issues arising from workers having long shifts with short breaks.

Blenkinsop makes no recommendations in her report.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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