This story has been updated with information provided by B.C. Emergency Health Services
The 32nd annual Light Up parade was delayed by two separate medical emergencies on Thursday night.
B.C. Emergency Health Services, (BCEHS) received a call for a person having chest pain on 1st Avenue at 6:54 pm. Paramedics were dispatched and arrived on scene within four minutes. The individual was transported by an Advanced Life Support paramedic crew to hospital in Nanaimo.
A call was received at 6:40 pm from St. John’s Ambulance reporting a person who had fallen and hurt their hip on 1st Avenue. A paramedic crew was dispatched and arrived at 7:10 pm. The individual did not require transport to hospital.
BCEHS prioritizes ambulance calls based on information received from callers. In that system, patients who report life threatening symptoms, including cardiac arrest, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and severe bleeding or unconsciousness receive the highest priority response.
Prior to the medical emergencies, there were two multi vehicle incidents, (MVIs) on the Trans Canada Highway. One occurred near Coronation Mall, and the other at Grouhel Road and Highway 1. An ambulance was called to the MVI at Grouhel Road.
In total, three ambulances responded to the Ladysmith area — one of which was called from out of area to respond. The Light Up parade was delayed by nearly an hour.
With the delayed parade and temperatures around negative two degrees celsius, many Light Up attendees left early. Ladysmith RCMP constable Barry Fulford estimated 30,000 – 35,000 people were in attendance at the beginning.
“By the time the parade actually started, we were seeing people leave in droves because their kids were too cold, and such like that,” Fulford said.
Once the individuals were safely taken by ambulance, the parade commenced and there were no other issues.
“The parade ended up going without a hitch once it started. The fireworks went without a hitch, and there were no issues following the termination of the fireworks,” Fulford said.
Fulford thanked all attendees for their patience, cooperation, and good behaviour.
“The folks that attend are awesome. They behave themselves, they come for the event, and I think they have typically a great time.”