A local man is facing charges after police determined he was under the influence of alcohol while investigating a collision in Kingston’s west end.
The collision occurred on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at approximately 11 p.m. near the intersection of Bayridge Drive and Taylor Kidd Boulevard. The accused man struck the back of an ambulance stopped at a red light at that intersection, resulting in some significant damages to the ambulance and the vehicle the man was driving.
Frontenac Paramedic Services confirmed that one of its ambulances was involved in the collision, and is now currently out for inspection and repairs at this time. Frontenac Paramedic Services was unable to provide the cost of the damages at this time.
“The damaged ambulance will not return to service until the repairs are complete,” Frontenac Paramedic Services said in an email.
The local paramedic services said that, while collisions involving ambulances are not all that common, they do occur, and when they do, they carry with them their own set of complications.
“It’s pretty inconvenient for everyone, not to mention that collisions are potentially dangerous to patients, medics, and others on the road. So, although it doesn’t happen often, it certainly happens much more often than anyone would like,” Frontenac Paramedic Services said.
“The implications of temporarily losing the use of an ambulance on regular Frontenac Paramedics operations are minor. While unscheduled maintenance and repair work on fleet vehicles is absolutely an inconvenience for all involved, it is a contingency for which all Ontario Paramedic services plan,” the organization said of how these incidents impact their operations.
“Having one or two ambulances in the shop does not typically result in fewer Paramedics or ambulances on duty at any given time. Rather, vehicles are substituted and redeployed as needed to ensure the full complement of Paramedics is equipped.”
Frontenac Paramedic Services explained that the Ontario Ambulance Act provides and requires that the closest available Paramedic crew to the scene of any given emergency call responds first and immediately, regardless of the Paramedic service that employs the crew or services the ambulance. This means that, in a worst-case scenario, paramedic services across the province will fill in for other services if they are closest and/or needed, even if the call in question is outside their jurisdiction. This is a reciprocal agreement, meaning Frontenac Paramedics may respond to or be called to incidents outside of Frontenac County, as well.
From the standpoint of the paramedics, the most important thing to consider is road safety.
“Road safety is critically important for Paramedics and their patients… one thing the damaged ambulance means to Frontenac Paramedics is as a symbolic reminder to each other and to the public about the dangers faced by Paramedics working on the road,” Frontenac Paramedic Services explained.
“To everyone in the public, please stay alert and focused at all times when behind the wheel, especially when emergency vehicles like ambulances are about. Doing so could help save lives.”
As a result of the collision, the 23-year-old male driver was taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Upon being released from hospital, the man was subsequently arrested and charged with impaired driving.