Snow creates pile of work for emergency services
The snow may have stopped Thursday morning, but for police andparamedics, the day shaped up to be a busy one as commuters headed backto work.
The snow may have stopped Thursday morning, but for police and paramedics, the day shaped up to be a busy one as commuters headed back to work.
"It was worse this morning than it was compared to the two previous rush hours,” said Ottawa paramedic spokesman J.P. Trottier. "I suspect a lot of people worked from home on Wednesday. Perhaps that influenced it a little bit. It was worse in terms of the number of calls because of the road conditions.”
Paramedics attended the scene of dozens of minor collisions where drivers had slid off the road.
They receive a flood of calls every time there's a snow day, which can prove to be a strain on services, Trottier said.
"We'll have some people driving by (collisions) and call 9-1-1. We find ourselves going to a lot of calls where our services are not required.”
Sixty or 70 per cent of the calls paramedics attended Thursday did not require medical assistance.
"It drains our resources, big-time,” said Trottier.
Ottawa Ontario Provincial Police were also busy this morning, attending about a dozen collisions.
"It's been one call after another,” said Constable Guy Prevost. "We had a few rollovers. Because snowbanks are so hard, the cars go sideways once they hit the snowbank. And people have been going straight into the ditches.”
Over in Gatineau, drivers were a bit more careful.
Police attended 43 weather-related collisions, including three with injuries, between 7 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, said Constable Isabelle Poirier.
"There were some minor injuries and cars that went into the ditch and some property damage” she said.
Snow also caused a different kind of problem Thursday, as paramedics responded to four incidents of heart attacks related to shoveling snow.
Paramedics diagnosed and treated a 61-year-old male in the Barrhaven area, after he collapsed in his laneway due to chest pain. They also treated males aged 72, 62 and 45 who also suffered cardiac chest pain while shoveling.