Fox Lake Project

Posted In: Our Stories. Posted On: May 9, 2024.

The Fox Lake project is an ever-changing collaboration between Advance Paramedic LTD (APL) and the Little Red River Cree Nation. It aims to provide medical support for the reintegration of community members into Fox Lake. This essential work involves Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) and Primary Care Paramedics (PCP) to provide health care, clinical care, and support to community members in remote areas.

Tyler Werboweski, a PCP at APL, is one of the many paramedics who works within Fox Lake, an area that is only accessible by plane. He believes that APL has an amazing opportunity and connection with the Little Red River Cree Nation and appreciates how welcoming the community has been to them all.

“APL has had a long-standing connection with the Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) clinic division in the community already and having us continue to support them in a new manner has been wonderful,” said Tyler. “With the community slowly reintegrating and re-building, the project has shifted immensely – both in how we provide care, and how we access the community.”

Working in secluded areas was new for Tyler in the beginning, and through his experiences there he has gained a new perspective about how communities can access the care they need in these kinds of locations.

“I don’t think that I fully understood what it was like to be in a community that is only accessible by plane many times throughout the year,” said Tyler. “While I didn’t set any preconceived notions when going into the community, I have learned a lot about how access to communities and remote locations can affect all aspects of care.”

Tyler’s commute to work is vastly different than others in
his industry and involves a four-and-a-half-hour drive to the Edmonton International Airport, where he then boards a two- and-a-half-hour flight from APL’s base the next morning into the secluded community he provides care at.

Having a schedule that involves this much travel time has its advantages, and Tyler enjoys the time it provides him to pursue the things he loves outside of work.

“The advantages of the fly in and fly out rotation are the equal number of days working to the number of days off. I’ve found that this is beneficial for my mental health and gives me more time to do things that I enjoy, such as traveling,” said Tyler.

Throughout his time in the Little Red River Cree Nation, Tyler
has accumulated many memorable moments. Engaging with the community and learning the culture has been a great experience for him, and he is grateful for the hospitality he receives while there.

“Fox Lake is a gorgeous community, and the community is very welcoming of the paramedics,” said Tyler.

Able to utilize his full scope of practice in the clinic setting there, Tyler has found that he has learned a lot from the ISC Nursing Team. Being in this type of environment has provided him with great opportunities, but he has found it also comes with its own set of challenges.

“The challenges of patient transport are very prevalent in fly in and out communities as we are at the mercy of mother nature and the availability of planes,” said Tyler. “These constraints can add a lot of stress when trying to manage patients and get them the care they need.”

When it comes to giving guidance to those who may be considering a job that involves flying in with no vehicle access, Tyler has a simple suggestion that can make the role a little bit easier.

“My advice for someone considering a job that is flying in and out is to keep an open mind and be creative on how best to support the community,” said Tyler.