Emergency service vehicles involving Emergnecy Medical Services and Fire Departments in Northumberland County are starting to add blue lights to their fleet of vehicles.
As of July 1, 2018 the Ministry of Transportation has made amendments to the Highway Traffic Act to allow Ontario emergency vehicles to be equipped with blue lights.
Blue lights on emergency vehicles was spearheaded by Clarington Fire Chief Gord Weir whose department vehicles were hit numerous times while at incidents on the highway.
“This change, for us, is first and foremost about enhancing paramedic safety, and also about being a current, innovative paramedic service,” said Chief Paramedic for Northumberland County Bill Detlor.
“We sought out a letter of permission from the Ministry of Health to move forward with implementation. Our two new trucks now have blue lights, and they will be added to all future paramedic vehicles.”
As far as Detlor is aware, Northumberland County Paramedic Services is the first in this area of the Province to be equipped with blue lights (along with Clarington).
Detlor says a number of other paramedic services have shown interested have visited to look at the County ambulances.
“We’ve already had Metro Toronto out to take a look, and Frontenac County is planning to visit.”
“We want to be leaders,” said Detlor.
“This is a current best practice, and it is one more step we can take to keep our paramedics safe on the job.”
Cramahe Township Fire Chief Brandon Northrup said the department has two vehicles in service that primarily respond to Highway 401 incidents.
“I would agree they are a lot more visible and show more depth perception in fog or snow.”.
“Absolutely they are a lot more visible,” said Northrup.
“We plan on outfitting the fleet likely within the next year.”
“It’s a bit costly with the L.E.D. lights, but some of the rotator lenses on order and should be here shortly.”
Police have been permitted to use the blue lights since 2007.