Vancouver Coastal Health says a thorough review of security measures at the Pemberton Health Centre has been conducted in the wake of an early morning incident that occurred in February.

Whistler RCMP says they responded to a call in the early morning hours of February 19th where an intoxicated youth was banging on the emergency room hospital doors, and subsequently gained access to the facility. Police say there were medical staff present at the time, but were able to avoid contact with the youth. RCMP found the youth hiding inside a washroom and say charges of ‘mischief’, and ‘forcible confinement’ have been approved by Crown Counsel.

Carrie Stefanson, Public Affairs Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health says they take the safety and security of their staff extremely seriously. She says staff have since been reminded of security procedures including wearing personal protection devices – devices that alert authorities in case of emergency. Stefanson said; “there was also a review of the integrity of the doors at the Pemberton Health Centre. Security surveillance cameras are in place there, and there is an additional security service that can be accessed by the nurse who is on duty, on call, that has a live feed of the emergency door”.

At the time the live feed of the emergency door wasn’t operational as it was being installed when the incident took place, however the security feature is now fully operational. Stefanson confirmed that there was one staff member tending to a patient at the time of the incident but the intruder was not able to gain access to the pair. The facility uses a remote staffing model which means staff are not on site 24/7 like in a city. The BC Nurses Union was also advised of the incident.


Filed under: health, Health Centre, Pemberton, RCMP, Sea to Sky, Vancouver Coastal Health