Last night, two paramedics responded to a scene in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, when an aggressive suspect took off in their ambulance while a paramedic was still in the patient care module in the back. Following a high-speed chase, the vehicle left the road and ended up in a ditch in Yamaska.
“The suspect and the paramedic sustained injuries and were taken to hospital. This incident serves as a reminder to us that our members often find themselves in hazardous situations and that occupational safety standards must always be optimal. We asked the CNESST to get involved this morning,” declared Benoit Cowell, president of the Fraternité des travailleurs et travailleuses du préhospitalier du Québec (FTPQ).
The Sureté du Québec arrested the suspect, who is facing numerous charges. An investigation is currently under way to determine the causes and the exact circumstances surrounding the event.
“Our thoughts are with our sisters and brothers, their families and friends. We’ll be offering our full collaboration and following this investigation closely. If we can improve our safety measures, we owe it to ourselves to do so,” added Cowell.
The FTPQ is a major union in the prehospital field and is the lone exclusively independent paramedic union in Quebec. It is affiliated with CUPE, which represents more than 17,000 paramedics in Canada, and with the FTQ, the largest union federation in Quebec.