Seconds count for paramedics responding to a call.
But what happened on a Kingston road this week may seem shocking to some.
An ambulance racing to assist with the 401 crash and chemical spill got stopped in its tracks by motorists — who refused to yield –and it was all caught on video.
Darryn Davis spoke with the frustrated paramedics today…. who say it’s not the first time the lights and sirens have been ignored.
A shocking scene to some… but maybe not all that surprising to paramedics trying to respond to Tuesday’s massive pileup and chemical spill on the 401 near Lansdowne.
But just getting out of Kingston was a frustrated experience.
Paramedic Caitlyn D’Souza was in this ambulance… going nowhere fast because motorists wouldn’t yield.
At least 5 cars turned in front of the ambulance at the intersection of Sir John A. MacDonald and John Counter boulevards.
“We were going through the intersection to pick up some of the patients to go to KGH and we were going lights and sirens which is our code four.”
This wasn’t the only incident of vehicles not stopping for D’Souza and her partner Lise-Anne Lepage-McBain, as they raced to the scene
“There was even on highway two as we were heading out there, there was actually a snow plow that was thankfully clearing the way for us but at the same time wasn’t pulling over for us to get buy him.”
A frustrating scenario in a profession where lives can be on the line ….. when minutes and seconds matter.
“A lot of times with strokes or heart attacks time is exactly what we’re fighting against so we rely on the public to stop and get us where we need to go.”
“Both paramedics say incidents like the ones that happened this week aren’t isolated.
In fact, they say drivers failing to stop for emergency vehicles with lights and sirens going happens on an almost daily basis.”
“People quite often just don’t know what to do, they panic or they just don’t want to get out of the way they need to get to work or whatever but yeah it’s a daily issue.”
Lepage-McBain has been a paramedic for 12 years and says she’s had extreme incidents with some drivers on the 401.
“We have witnessed people actually trying to race us actually passing us on the right and racing us with our lights and sirens on.”
In this case, police happened to be in the right place at the right time… and nabbed at least one motorist under the ‘move over’ law.
Motorists who fail to yield to emergency vehicle can face fines up to $2,000 dollars, 3 demerit points and could lose their licence for up to 2 years.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Kingston.