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Memo tells EMS to respect speed limits

It appears the brakes could be put on Edmonton ambulances speeding to emergency calls, according to information obtained by Metro.

It appears the brakes could be put on Edmonton ambulances speeding to emergency calls, according to information obtained by Metro.

An internal memo leaked to Metro provides direction to Edmonton EMS staff, requiring them to respond to all calls within the posted speed limit.

The memo, written by Dale Weiss, director of Edmonton/North Zone Metro Operations for Alberta Health Services, is dated Dec. 22 and states that staff “are to respond within the posted speed limits, even when responding with lights and siren.”

The memo also includes instructions on red-light policies, asking drivers to come to a complete stop before proceeding through intersections.

Weiss receives a monthly spreadsheet of EMS vehicles that have triggered the red-light cameras in Edmonton, according to the document. In October, the document states, there were 232 occurrences of speeds as high as 109 kilometres per hour and red-light durations of 60 seconds.

Weiss states that safety is the reason for the reinforcement of expectations.

An AHS spokesperson tells a slightly different story on the adherence to speed limits by EMS personnel.

“EMS staff are encouraged to stay within the posted speed limit as much as possible,” said Sheila Rougeau.

She said while the Edmonton memo was written with good intentions, emergency vehicles are in fact allowed to accelerate under certain circumstances.

With files from jeremy nolais

 
 
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