AHS New Policy Aimed at Ambulances and EMS

It’s been almost a week. I am still annoyed, and a little angry and even fearful. Alright so maybe my being scared of this is pushing dramatics a bit, but come on this was reported on on Christmas Eve. What an unpleasant Christmas present from AHS!

According to the Edmonton Journal there was a memo leaked at AHS. This memo encouraged all ambulances in Edmonton to follow speed limits and to stop at red lights. This is regardless if the ambulance’s lights and sirens were activated. Well I can certainly understand the importance of being safe on the road. Even as a lifelong passenger, I’ve witnessed some really dangerous driving by other drivers on Edmonton streets. Another thing though, I hate singling people and communities out. Why is the AHS doing just that? This same memo allegedly has only been aimed at Edmonton EMS and Ambulance services. Okay then, why is this? Yes, I know Calgary ambulances are already required to stop at red lights, and the drivers of these vehicles are allowed to use their better judgement on whether or not to speed. Yet this whole situation makes me ill. Why is that? Well point blank I’ve had my own experiences being in ambulances as a patient. Especially the time I was 7 years old and nearly drown.

What would have happened if ambulances couldn’t speed back then either? I’d most likely not be here. I very firmly believe that. A good many friends of mine have various medical issues that crop up from time to time. What could possibly happen to them, if ambulances are forced to take their time on the roads? Thinking on that concerns me.

Although it must be noted AHS has stated the wording of the memo “was incorrect.”  Clarification of the memo was indicated to state ambulance drivers may speed if time was of the essence. Time will be the deciding factor, I guess, on how this plays out. For me, well I just hope I don’t need an ambulance ride anytime soon. (Though, does anyone ever want to have to be in one?).

(Story read in the Edmonton Journal. Articles written by Elise Stolte and Conal Pierse).

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