As Phil Van de Keere walked into his home, he knew something was wrong.
“As soon as I opened the door I heard my mom. She said ‘I fell, I can’t get up, I’m hurt,'” he said.
Van de Keere’s 80-year-old mother Beverley had broken her pelvis in two places – but it took 90 minutes and two 911 calls for an ambulance to come, says Phil.
“I was scared. I tried not to make it sound way more serious than it was. I know they have priorities,” he said.
“[But] I said I don’t know if she’s bleeding internally, she has hit her head.”
The local ambulance station is only seven minutes from Van de Keere’s home. But it only has two ambulances to serve the city of 100,000 – which meant that on this day, the ambulance came from Abbotsford.
“It’s not acceptable for an elderly patient with a fracture to wait a long time for an ambulance,” said Health Minister Terry Lake.
“That should be a light and sirens response, which happens in minutes, so we will look into that individual circumstance.”
BC Ambulance says the response was 52 minutes, but would not confirm the address or any details of the call.
The incident is another example of why an online petition demanding more ambulances for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has gained traction.
READ MORE: People in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows fear an ambulance shortage may be putting their lives at risk
Launched by Matt Kelso, a young man suffering from brain cancer, at the beginning of this year, it already has over 2,500 signatures.
“I find it really disgusting that the government has let it get this bad, where people’s lives are at risk,” said Keslo.
– With files from John Hua